AS Tallinna Lennujaam, that ended last year with a EUR 9.7 million net profit, is preparing for gradual recovery of the air traffic during May, however resumption of the traffic to the pre-crisis level is estimated only by the end of 2022.
AS Tallinna Lennujaam ended last year with a EUR 9.7 million net profit, which is by 30% more than in 2018. The number of passengers passed the 3.27 million mark, meaning an increase of 8.7% in a year. The airport collaborated with 15 airlines and it was possible to fly to 36 destinations, 28 of which were open all-year-round.
When this January, the number of passengers increased 4% and in February 8%, then starting from the second week of March, the passenger numbers have dropped sharply – in the last week of March, only two airlines remained in operation on the Frankfurt and Minsk route. As a whole, in the first quarter the number of passengers remained below that of the last year by 16%. The net profit of the airport declined by 58% in the first quarter of this year – to 0.9 million, from 2 million euros.
In April, 642 flight operations were carried out, majority of which comprised private and training flights. Also, 14 cargo flights were made in April, being mainly related to deliveries of protective equipment from China. All in all, there were 2989 passengers in April, comprising just 1.1% of the last April’s traffic volumes. In April, it was possible to fly to Frankfurt, Minsk and Helsinki from Tallinn Airport. Over the first four months of 2020, 531,000 passengers passed the Tallinn Airport, being by 41% less compared to the same period last year.
According to Riivo Tuvike, Chairman of the Management Board at Tallinn Airport, the airport is expecting the reopening of routes during the month of May. For example, Finnair is planning to add flights between Tallinn and Helsinki in the second half of May and also AirBaltic wants to start flying between Tallinn and Riga. “The gradual increase in flights depends above all on the extent of the epidemic in different countries and relaxation of the related international restrictions. But things are beginning to move and we are already seeing the signs of recovery in flights,” said Tuvike.
At the same time, Tuvike admits that it may take up to two years to reach the pre-crisis level, that is more than 3 million passengers a year. “We estimate that by the end of 2020, Tallinn Airport will serve 1.5 million passengers, by the end of 2021, 2.3 million and by the end of 2022, 3 million passengers. We are working on a daily basis with our team to make sure that the airlines can restore their routes as soon as possible when the borders reopen,” said Tuvike.
According to Tuvike, the first priority is to restore connections between business destinations and connecting flights with convenient airports in London, Stockholm, Vilnius, Riga and Warsaw. For the Helsinki and Frankfurt route, it is important to restore the previous frequency of flights. In the next stage, we need to restore connections with holiday destinations, such as Paris, Vienna, Milan, Munich, Malta, Dublin and help to recover the turnover of our accommodation and catering establishments.