Fast-growing Tallinn’s top-10 unserved markets
Tallinn in Estonia, had over 3.8 million seats last year and a strong CAGR of 6.4% since 2010. As the airport says, “we may not become the busiest airport in the world, but we wish to be the cosiest.”
In 2019, airBaltic was Tallinn’s number-one operator, with 24% of the seats, up from 16% in 2018. The carrier had planned strong expansion in 2020 too, with seats up around one-fifth year-on-year to almost 1.1 million. This was partly from new routes – Hamburg, Rome, Zurich, and Nice – announced for this summer; given COVID-19, the start dates have been pushed back. airBaltic more than doubled its Tallinn seats between 2018 and 2020 as a result of decline of Nordica, whose dominance reduced from 24% in 2018 to 14% in 2019, becoming Tallinn’s second-largest airline.
Tallinn’s top-10 unserved routes await service post-COVID-19
Gothenburg leads Tallinn’s top-10 list of unserved routes by passenger volume, with almost 29,000 last year before stimulation from non-stop service and/low fares. Nearly half of these passengers connected in Helsinki. Gothenburg was last served by Nordica until 2018, with a typical six-weekly service and up to three-weekly in its final year. The 469-mile sector, by far the shortest in the top-10 list, was operated by both ATR-72s and CRJ-900s.
Tel Aviv has seen significant growth to Europe following open skies with the EU, and is linked with Riga and Vilnius, capitals of nearby Latvia and Lithuania. In mid-August, Riga is daily across airBaltic and Israir, while Vilnius is five-weekly with Ryanair and Wizz Air. Meanwhile, Tbilisi, Georgia, is Tallinn’s ninth-largest unserved market, although Wizz Air began a twice-weekly service to Kutaisi in September 2019.
airBaltic, which last year had 54% of its total capacity at Tallinn, already serves nine of these ten airports, primarily from its Riga, Latvia, hub. Rather than Dubai, it serves Abu Dhabi in partnership with Etihad Airways. Perhaps a similar arrangement could exist from Tallinn, with onward connectivity across Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa.
Hamburg, Rome, Zurich all coming; they were in Tallinn’s top-10 unserved list
In 2019, Hamburg was Tallinn’s second-largest unserved market (24,700), Zurich fourth (24,000), and Rome sixth (19,600). airBaltic is to start each from this summer, all by the 145-seat A220-300. Hamburg, which was also last served in 2018, will operate four-weekly, with higher frequency and capacity than previously; Zurich, which wasn’t operated in the past decade or more, will be three-weekly; and Rome Fiumicino, last served by Vueling in 2016, will be twice-weekly. Tallinn was Zurich’s largest unserved European market.