Transport & Infrastructure Law
March 28, 2024

TRINITI revamped Tartu’s air connectivity, launching it into the 21st Century

As of March 31, 2024, it is possible to fly between Tartu and Helsinki by plane! This is thanks to the establishment of a public service obligation by the City of Tartu. On December 23, Tartu and the airline Finnair Oyj signed a public service contract to operate regular flights between Tartu and Helsinki airports. Flights will operate from March 31, 2024, until December 31, 2027. During this period, the air route must be serviced according to a flight schedule, which includes 12 flights per week between Tartu and Helsinki. The cost for the city during this period will be 3,203,038 euros.

This is the first cross-border air connectivity procurement in Estonia and the second in the Baltics after the Vilnius – London route. While domestic flight procurements are not uncommon (Estonia has also procured air connections to Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, and Ruhnu), there are currently only 23 cross-border flight procurements in the European Union.

“For Estonia, and especially Southern Estonia, this is an exceptional step forward in connectivity. It is known that every 10% increase in air connectivity boosts the region’s GDP by 0.5%, with an even greater impact in areas where connectivity is limited. For Tartu and Tartu County, this means tens of millions, amplified by Tartu’s status as the European Capital of Culture in 2024,” commented TRINITI’s lead partner and member of the Aviation Cluster Advisory Board, attorney-at-law Ergo Blumfeldt.

TRINITI’s task was to advise City of Tartu in conducting the tendering procedure, including coordination with the European Commission and negotiations with Finnair. The City of Tartu received advice from TRINITI’s aviation experts Ergo Blumfeldt, Sandor Elias, and Madlenne Timofejev.