Bus drivers’ minimum wage to rise 18 pct in 3 years

Following a year of negotiations, the Estonian Transport and Road Workers Trade Union (ETTA) and the Union of Estonian Automobile Enterprises arrived at a a sectoral agreement that will raise bus drivers’ minimum monthly income by 18 percent to 945 euros in three years.

Under the agreement concluded, bus drivers’ minimum monthly income and hourly wage, respectively, will increase to 835 and 3.50 euros next year, 895 and 3.75 euros in 2018, up to 945 and four euros in 2019.

ETTA’s initial demand was for bus drivers’ minimum monthly income to be increased from 800 to 900 euros immediately.

Read more from ERR News

40 km of Tallinn-Tartu highway to be widened to four lanes

According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, work on widening Tallinn-Tartu Highway to four lanes between the villages of Kose and Mäo is underway and construction work will begin next summer.

The project plan is currently being prepared for a 25-kilometer stretch of the new road from Kose to Võõbu. When the plan is completed, a procurement tender to find the builder will be announced, likely sometime during the first half of next year. Construction on the project is expected to start during the second half of the year.

Read more from ERR News

Parliament was given an overview of state-owned airline Nordica

The Riigikogu’s Economic Affairs Committee was given an overview of the financial situation of state-owned airline Nordica on Tuesday. Committee member MP Erki Savisaar said on Wednesday that he was satisfied with what he had heard.

According to Erki Savisaar, the load factor of Estonia’s new state airline’s various routes has been comparable to that of competing airlines at over 70 percent, and so there was no problem in that regard.

The number of delayed and canceled flights, which was cause for concern during the spring, has also decreased, although according to the MP, there was still room for improvement. “At the same time, however, if you compare [today’s situation] to that with where they were in the spring, the situation has greatly improved,” Savisaar told ERR’s online news portal, who found that the primary factor involved in this improvement was Nordica’s switch to its own crews and fleet of planes.

Savisaar said that half of the money granted to the airline by the state had been spent by now, however if the business manages to stay on track and reach current profit by 2019, the company’s being in the red this year will not be a problem.

“What was said was so lovely that I want to believe,” said Savisaar. “They cannot be given any additional money for the next nine years, according to EU rules, so if such losses should continue as at present, then they will not hold out for long.”

Nordica has announced that they will not publish their economic results before the end of their first year of operation, however they are keeping within budget. First-year losses are projected to come in at 15 million euros.

Source: ERR News

Taxify launches service in Kiev

Estonian transportation network company Taxify launched their taxi and ridesharing service in Kiev on Friday, which means that the mobile app is serving customers in a total of 21 cities in 14 countries.

While over three million people live in Kiev, a city five times bigger than the Estonian capital of Tallinn, more than 90 percent of customers still order their taxis from dispatch centers, reported Taxify in a press release. Of the over 20,000 taxis in the country, whose quality varies wildly, approximately 200, including drivers offering rideshares, had joined forces with the Estonian-based company by the time of its launch in the Ukrainian capital.

All drivers working for Taxify have undergone a thorough background check and training on Taxify’s part.

“Ukraine is a very large market and we had been weighing expansion to there for some time already,” explained Taxify co-founder Martin Villig. “This is an interesting challenge for Taxify as locl taxis [in Kiev] mostly drive according to a fixed negotiated price and not with taxi meters, as is common elsewhere in Europe.

Taxify is an Estonian startup launched in 2013 which is working on developing a worldwide app for taxis and ridesharing worldwide. Employing over 50 people worldwide, Taxify offers services in 21 cities across 14 different countries.

Taxify mediates millions of trips per year in Europe and Africa, and has invested two million euros in order to finance rapid growth, making it the most effectively operating mobile application in the world.

Source: ERR News

St. Peter Line to sell cruise ships operating on Baltic Sea

Russian shipping company St. Peter Line, which operates a Tallinn-St. Petersburg route with a fleet of two ships, the Princess Anastasia and the Princess Maria, is to sell the ships to Italian cruise ship operator Moby Lines, reported lemarin.fr.

According to initial information, the new owner is to relocate the Princess Anastasia away from the Baltic Sea, while thePrincess Maria is scheduled to continue operating cruises in the region, Port of Tallinn Chief of Communications Sirle Arro told BNS.

Read more from ERR News

Vopak ready to set up 250 mEUR regional LNG terminal in Estonia

Vopak E.O.S., the largest independent oil product terminal operator in the Baltics, which wishes to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Muuga, east of Tallinn, also remains ready to set up an additional regional terminal that is estimated to cost approximately 250 million euros.

“The Tallinn LNG terminal is one of the projects to which the EU has given priority and which is eligible for support,” Vopak spokesperson Olga van Kampen told BNS. “The size of the investment depends on the size of the terminal planned for the Muuga port.”

Read more from ERR News

Estonia is 38th in World Bank’s logistics performance ranking

Estonia has risen by one notch, to the 38th position, in this year’s World Bank logistics performance rankings, coming in ahead of its southern neighbor Latvia but behind Lithuania.

Countries’ performance was measured according to six criteria: customs, infrastructure, international shipments, logistics competence, tracking and tracing, and timeliness.

Read more from ERR News