Bird competition to inspire Estonians

  • 2012-05-02
  • From wire reports

BIG BIRD: Estonians will be encouraged to look skyward more often.

TALLINN - The Embraer planes in Estonia’s national airline Estonian Air’s fleet and in the company’s colors will be named after Estonian birds that will be chosen in a public name competition organized by the airline, Estonian Air announced, reports LETA. The name competition will take place in two parts in cooperation with the Estonian Ornithological Society. Names of birds belonging to Estonian avifauna were to be suggested on the Estonian Air Web page until the evening of May 1.

On May 2, 2012, the jury, which consisted of the representatives of the Estonian Ornithological Society and Estonian Air, were to select 20 of the most suitable candidates from which the public can vote their favorite until May 3, 2012.
Everyone who makes a suggestion in the name competition is entered into a prize draw and the four winners of Estonian Air’s return flights to their chosen destination will be drawn on May 3.

The CCO of Estonian Air Rauno Parras said that the airline is waiting for name suggestions for the first four planes that have arrived and are already in use. “The barn swallow has been the main graphic element used in Estonian Air’s logo and planes for a long time. This bird is extremely attached to its nesting site – they travel almost 10,000 kilometers every year and return to the same nesting site,” added Parras.

“We plan to name all of our planes after local bird species in the long run – we see this as a chance to introduce Estonia to foreign tourists and we hope that it also inspires Estonians to look up more often,” said Parras.
“Our culture and nature, including birds, are some of the biggest riches of the Estonian nation. Estonia is a very important center on the migratory routes of birds. The image of Estonians and Finno-Ugric people as water bird people, which was promoted by Lennart Meri, is deeply meaningful: every autumn, water birds in Siberia embark on the same journey as our ancestors, who traveled from the taigas and the tundra to the coast of the Baltic Sea,” said Mati Kose from the Estonian Ornithological Society.

Estonian Air has four Embraer 170 planes, which are used on the basis of a lease contract. Estonian Air needs 12 Embraer E-Jet planes in total in order to increase the flight frequency and open new destinations. The planes will be delivered to Estonia from 2013 to 2015.