TALLINN – Direct flights from Tallinn to 12 destinations in nine countries were being operated as on Monday, Aug. 24, spokespeople for Tallinn Airport said.
The destinations currently available are Berlin, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Milan, Minsk, Oslo, Paphos, Riga and Vilnius.
Recent weeks have seen an increase in the numbers of coronavirus cases in Europe, the infection rates are changing rapidly, and this is causing changes also in the flight plan.
In accordance with the methodology used at present, flights out of Tallinn are operated or canceled until the end of August depending on the infection rate in the country of destination, with existing operations canceled when the infection rate in the country of destination increases.
Eero Pargmae, chief commercial officer of the state-owned airport company, said that for the first time since April it can be seen that people are again having problems returning home.
"The system of restricting flights used today was devised in May, when the situation in Estonia and Europe was clearly different than it is today," Pargmae said in a press release.
The CCO pointed out than when restrictions concern five out of 25 destinations, it is possible to rebook passengers to other flights. But when various restrictions concern 19 countries, cross-border movement becomes difficult.
"At the moment we are in a situation where a sustainable plan for cross-border movement is necessary for the coming year, and we are glad on behalf of passengers that the government is about to discuss the topic this week," Pargmae said.
The CCO said that while travel definitely should not be taking place in a manner which puts public health at risk, direct air connections are vital for keeping the economy going and routes should not be closed.
"Besides, it is much easier to check the people arriving on direct flights than those changing planes several times or moving by other means of transport," Pargmae said.
"As flight plans are currently changed every week, it's also very important for people to think through their travel plans, avoid travel to countries with high infection rates, and contact their airline immediately when a flight is canceled, as it is their [the airline's] obligation to bring passengers back either by direct flight or via a regional hub," he said.
People faced with the prospect of getting stranded in a foreign country are also advised to contact the Foreign Ministry, which will help arrange for their return to Estonia if necessary.