Estonian Air to diminish staff by half

  • 2012-11-21

TALLINN - Estonia's national airline Estonian Air will service five aircraft after implementing the necessary cuts due to difficulties it faces, AFP reports.

"The structure of the company will be based on operating five aircraft and serving nine to ten core destinations," its new chief executive of Estonian Air Jan Palmer said in a statement.

As reported, Estonian national carrier Estonian Air announced on Tuesday that in order to adjust operations to the reduced flight capacity, it will decrease its staff by nearly a half.

Currently, Estonian Air operates a ten-plane fleet.

Created in 1991, the airline has had mixed fortunes.

It was privatized in 1996, and from 2003 to 2010 was almost evenly split between the state, which owned 51 percent, and Scandinavian carrier SAS, with 49 percent.

Since then, the state has gradually upped its holding to the current 97 percent.

In November 2011, the government announced that it was injecting 30 million euros to renew Estonian Air's fleet and bolster business, with the long-term goal of seeking a new strategic investor.

In the first nine months of this year, Estonian Air operated a total of 14,964 flights, or 72 percent more than in the same period of 2011.

The drive to boost passenger figures by offering more connections via Estonia appeared to have borne fruit, with numbers over the same period rising by 71 percent to 686,106.

But the airline failed to plug the hole in its coffers, even though revenues in the first nine months of 2012 reached 70.4 million euros, compared with 58.7 million euros in the same period of 2011.

Nine-month losses hit 20.2 million euros, up from 11.2 million euros in the first three quarters of 2011.

As reported, Jan Palmer said that the new action plan of the aviation company should enable to reach profits by next summer.