Estonian tourism companies eager for further flight restriction relaxations

Flight restrictions in Estonia have been some of the strictest in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, though the government eased them over the last week . The decision to do so was welcomed by scientists and Tallinn Airport alike, but tourism companies are in favor of even further relaxations.

Aivo Takis, board member at travel agency Estravel, said the company’s results for September show that turnover has dropped sixfold when compared with 2019. “Why it is that way, we have tried to figure out and we have concluded from thousands of respondents that the reason is not that people are scared of dying from the COVID-19 virus, but that they are afraid of the confusion and uncertainty regarding travel plans,” Takis said on Sunday’s “Aktuaalne kaamera. Nädal”.

The state has restricted direct flights, but the government made a decision on September 29 toallow them to countries with a 14-day infection rate per 100,000 inhabitantsno higher than double the European average. Currently, that number is a bit under 200, meaning direct flights are currently not allowed to just a select few European countries. Under the old regime of coronavirus rates of 25 per 100,000 inhabitants, direct links would be off the table to the vast majority of European states.

While Takis finds that the limit should be lost completely, Tallinn Airport marketing manager Eero Pärgmäe welcomes the decision because it is a concrete one.

Pärgmäe said: “We have waited for it for some time, it means that our clients, flight companies and ourselves are able to open important lines for the Estonian economy starting next week (Monday, October 5 – ed.). We are talking of Oslo, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Berlin, not mass tourism but economical development and maintenance.”

Read more: ERR.EE

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