TALLINN - The chairman of Copterline, which last year suspended flights across the Gulf of Finland due to safety concerns, has said that the company may resume regular service between Tallinn and Helsinki.
Tonis Lepp, who chairs Copterline Estonia, was quoted as saying that people were constantly asking him whether a helicopter would start flying again between the Finno-Ugric capitals. He said that he feels the time is ripe to resume the flights.
"I cannot naturally say very precisely how many potential air passengers there would be, but something tells me that it could be the right time to start," Lepp said.
At present there are three people working on the Estonian side. Lepp said that a minimum of 12 - 15 people would be required to maintain operations.
Lepp said that the ticket price would not change.
"As before the prices will be differentiated according to the time of departure," he said.
In order to resume flights, Copterline has ordered two new Italian Agusta AW139 helicopters, the company said.
Copterline, which initially operated two helicopters on the Tallinn-Helsinki route, lost one of its craft in a tragic accident in August 2005. All 14 people on board were killed.
The company ceased regular flights in June 2006.
Copterline belongs to a Finnish investment group, with businessman Ilkka Herlin and the Ilmarinen investment fund as the major owners.
A government commission interim report on the crash, released on Aug. 8, found that a fault in the helicopter's main rotor servo caused the accident. The report ruled out earlier theories that either pilot error or freak weather had triggered the fatal fall into the Gulf of Finland.