Urva: funding to become Estonian Air’s main issue

29.02.2012, 11:50

Aviation expert Erki Urva who is former CEO of Estonian Air writes that the national carrier has announced bold plans for the future, but the big question if the airline has the funds to implement the changes.

Urva listed five threats facing the global civil aviation industry. These are the ongoing rapid decline of the civil aviation sector, the eurozone crisis that is affecting also Estonia, high fuel prices, airports’ interest to increase passenger fees to alleviate pollution charges and inefficient airlines.

“How is this all affecting Estonian Air? Although the airline’s growth in passenger number was only half of the Tallinn Airport growth, the company has taken a clear strategic decision and with the help of the government is implementing it aggressively. The airline is acquiring new aircraft, modernising customer service and has been announcing new destinations.

The key question is whether the airline has enough money because new aircraft and growth strategy demand deep pockets. Nothing would make me more happy if I could say in a few years that Estonian Air has become the first airline in Eastern Europe that has become successful in developing its own hub,” writes Urva.

He adds that the progress is impressive since the number of passengers in Tallinn Airport increased a record 38 percent last year which is only second to 2005.