The acquisition of new, smaller aircraft enables the Estonian carrier Estonian Air to serve a larger number of destinations profitably and the company’s strategic goal is to bring the number of direct European destinations to 30. The CEO and president of Estonian Air, Andrus Aljas, told reporters on Monday that the company’s primary focus was on flights lasting up to 2.5 hours. The number of passengers on the routes must be sufficient for twice daily operation. This means that there are plans to open new routes, but the managers speaking to reporters on Monday would not reveal more.
Aljas underscored the importance of Estonian Air’s cooperation with KLM and SAS, which allows the company to offer a large number of final destinations with a single change of aircraft.
The first two of the brand new Bombardiers to be delivered will be taken into use by Estonian Air from the beginning of next year and the third in 2012.
Estonian Air will not reveal the price of the aircraft or details of the deal’s financing arrangement. One of the financing parties is from Canada and as part of the down payment the company will use money to be received as an equity investment by the Estonian state. In connection with the arrival of the Bombardiers, Estonian Air will return the two Boeings it is currently using under a lease agreement.
The CEO emphasised that Estonian Air was buying the three aircraft under the same terms as agreed in the original agreement from 2008. If negotiations on the purchase of the planes were to be started from scratch the price definitely would be higher, he said, answering a question from a journalist. Originally the purchase was agreed as part of a larger acquisition of aircraft by the Scandinavian SAS group, which helped to bring the price lower, Aljas explained.
Source: Estonian Review
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