Estonian banks have 1.83 million Internet banking customers

At the end of May, Estonian commercial banks had 1 831 831 Internet banking customers, and the number of telephone banking clients stood at 860 121.

Swedbank’s Internet bank had 913 426 clients and contracts for the use of telephone banking services numbered 495,481 at the end of last month. Users of SEB Bank’s Internet bank for private individuals numbered 550 085 and of the Internet bank for corporate customers 63 103. The number of users of SEB Pank’s mobile bank increased by 109 during last month to 95 914 whereas the number of telephone bank clients declined by 20 to 9 720.

Source: Estonian Review

Estonian Air increases baggage allowance to 23 kg

Estonian Air switches from the current weight-based baggage concept to a unit-based one, aiming to unify its baggage rules with the main partner airlines. This will result in increase of the free baggage weight allowance and also in the maximum size of cabin baggage.

According to the new rules the weight allowance of free baggage increases substantially, especially for passengers holding Flexible Economy and Business Class tickets. The new rules set also increased maximum sizes (56x45x25 cm) of hand baggage, with the maximum weight of 8 kg.

“The new baggage rules are much simpler and clearer for our customers, especially those who are going to connecting flights,” commented Rauno Parras, Commercial Vice President of Estonian Air the changed baggage rules.

The new baggage rules shall enter into force as from 1 July 2011, applicable to those customers whose tickets were issued on 1 June 2011 or later. Old baggage rules apply for the customers who have purchased their tickets prior to 1 June 2011.

Starting from 1 July 2011, passengers with Economy Class tickets are able to check in one baggage unit free of charge with a maximum weight of 23 kg (the earlier maximum weight was 20 kg).
Passengers with Flexible Economy Class tickets are allowed to check in free of charge up to two baggage unites with a maximum weight of 23 kg each (in total 46 kg; the earlier maximum weight was 30 kg). Passengers with Business Class tickets are allowed to check in two baggage units free of charge with a maximum weight of 32 kg each (in total 64 kg, the earlier maximum weight was 30 kg).

Furthermore, EuroBonus members holding Gold or Silver Cards are able to check in free of charge one extra baggage unit. The maximum weight of this extra unit equals with the maximum weight of the baggage unit allowed for the passengers flying in the corresponding class.

Most airlines are changing the baggage concept to simplify and make it more understandable, especially for passengers taking connecting flights. Estonian Air recommends to contact the airline or travel agency prior the flight in order to be informed about the airline’s baggage rules.

Furthermore, also hand baggage limits are changed. From 1 July 2011, the maximum hand baggage size is 56x45x25 cm (previously: 45x35x20 cm). If earlier only one hand baggage was allowed to be taken onboard, then now more baggage units are allowed (for instance: computer bag, handbag etc.), the maximum weight of which may not exceed 8 kg.
 

Source: Estonian Air

The situation in business sector is continually improving

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 1st quarter of 2011, the net sales, costs and total profit of the business sector increased compared to the previous quarter as well as to the same quarter of the previous year.

In the 1st quarter of 2011, enterprises sold goods and services for 9.4 billion euros (147 billion kroons) at current prices, which is by a fourth more than in the same period a year ago. The net sales of wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing and transportation and storage enterprises, which have the biggest share in gross net sales in total business sector, increased 23%, 47% and 27%, respectively.Compared to the 1st quarter of 2010, the enterprises’ total costs increased 22%, of which the personnel expenses 8%. The number of persons employed and number of hours worked increased 2% and 4%, respectively. The growth of the productivity indicators (labour, hour and personnel cost productivity) continued in comparison with the same period of the previous year. The hour productivity (total productivity / number of hours worked) of business sector increased 20%, at the same time the average hourly labour costs increased only 4%.

In the 1st quarter of 2011, the total profit of enterprises amounted to 544 million euros (8.5 billion kroons), which was about two times more compared to the 1st quarter of the previous year, but according to the seasonally adjusted data stayed on the level of the 4th quarter of 2010. Regardless of the rapid growth the sector’s total profit was comparable with the profit in 2005. Compared to the 1st quarter of the previous year, the total profit increased the most in trade. The growth in the trade in the 1st quarter of 2011 was influenced by the low reference base in the previous year. The growth was caused by the wholesale trade only; the retail trade was running at a loss. Manufacturing gave a third of the total profit of the business sector. The twofold growth in this activity was mainly caused by increase in exports. The growth in manufacturing was mainly supported by the manufacture of electronic equipment, wood products and fuel oil products.

The decrease in investments which had lasted for nearly two and a half years compared to the same quarter of the previous year, turned to growth in the 4th quarter of 2010, which continued also in the 1st quarter. In the 1st quarter, enterprises invested 487 million euros (7.6 billion kroons), which is a half more than in the 1st quarter of 2010. Investments were mainly made in vehicles and in other equipment and machinery. The major investors were transportation and storage and manufacturing enterprises with about a half of the total investments of enterprises.

Compared to the previous quarter, the growth in net sales accelerated. According to the seasonally adjusted data, the net sales of enterprises increased 7% in the 1st quarter of 2011 compared to the previous quarter. Last year the average growth compared to the previous quarter stayed around 4–6%.

Net sales, personnel expenses and total profit of the business sector, 1st quarter 2002 – 1st quarter 2011
(average of the quarters of 2005 = 100)

Diagram: Net sales, personnel expenses and total profit of the business sector, 1st quarter 2002 – 1st quarter 2011

Source: Statistics Estonia