Ferry service between Sillamae and Ust-Luga reopens

After a five-month hiatus, ferry service between the Port of Sillamae in Northeast Estonia and the Russian port of Ust-Luga has been re-opened, reported ERR.

This is the only regular sea route between Estonia and Russia.The ferry that takes both cars and passengers aboard departures daily.

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State may regulate taxi tariffs in Tallinn

Parliament is reading the draft act of public transport which would create a possibility for regulating taxi tariffs, writes Eesti Päevaleht.

Under the draft act, local governments would be given the right to establish a maximum permitted tariff for taxis if there are problems in provision of taxi service in their local government.

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The consumer price index was influenced the most by transport

According to Statistics Estonia, the change of the consumer price index in November 2014 was -0.8% compared to October 2014 and -0.6% compared to November of the previous year.

Compared to November 2013, goods were 0.8% and services 0.4% cheaper.

Regulated prices of goods and services have fallen by 0.3% and by non-regulated prices 0.7% compared to November of the previous year.

Compared to November 2013, the consumer price index was influenced the most by transport, where motor fuel was 4.4% cheaper than last year. The impact of electricity, heat energy and fuel was somewhat smaller with the electricity that arrived at homes being 6.6% cheaper and heat energy 1.3% cheaper. Compared to the same period of the previous year, 3.1% more expensive alcoholic beverages and 7.4% more expensive tobacco also had a bigger impact on the index. Compared to November 2014, of food products, the prices of conserved milk have increased the most (17%), and the prices of sugar, potatoes and apples have decreased the most (43%, 20% and 19%, respectively).

In November compared to October, the consumer price index was mainly influenced by transport which accounted for a half of the decrease because of 29% cheaper plane tickets and 2.1% cheaper motor fuel. Compared to October, of food products, the prices of cucumbers and grapes increased the most (41% and 39%, respectively) and the prices of mandarins decreased the most (26%).

Change of the consumer price index by commodity groups, November 2014
Commodity group November 2013 –
November 2014, %
October 2014 –
November 2014, %
TOTAL -0.6 -0.8
Food and non-alcoholic beverages -0.8 -0.8
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 3.1 -0.8
Clothing and footwear 0.5 0.0
Housing -1.5 -0.1
Household goods 1.2 0.1
Health 2.6 0.2
Transport -3.3 -2.7
Communications -2.5 -0.4
Recreation and culture 0.8 -0.5
Education -21.9 0.0
Hotels. cafés and restaurants 4.1 -1.0
Miscellaneous goods and services 1.8 -1.0

Source: Statistics Estonia

Cabinet agreed on potential routes for Rail Baltic

On Thursday, the Cabinet endorsed the preferred route corridors for Rail Baltic as proposed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (MEAC) and consultants.

A more detailed examination will be conducted on two prospective routes in Harju county and the northern part of Rapla county and on one route in the southern part of Rapla county. The preferred route options in Harju county include the solution proposed by the county governor and the route corridor east of the Nabala Nature Reserve. In the southern part of Rapla county, the Government supported the route option 16d, proposed by the county governor, taking the rail track even further to the east from Kohila small town and Prillimäe village. In Pärnu county, work continues on one route corridor, which runs over fields and is least disruptive to the sensitive natural environment while also saving almost 11 million euros in costs.

The Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructures will propose a preferred route option for Harju county and the northern part of Rapla county to the Government in the spring of the coming year, following the publication of a draft plan. MEAC also continues development of a conceptual design for the entire route.

Furthermore, MEAC and the Technical Surveillance Authority have to draw up proportional alleviation measures to reduce the negative impact of railway construction on the built, natural, economic and cultural environments near the railway.

The length of the route in Estonia will be approximately 211 kilometres; it will cost 1.1 billion euros to build, of which 650 million will be paid from the EU budget and 500 million from Estonia’s contribution to cost-sharing.

The next stage will be drafting of more detailed plans for track crossings, various access routes and new transport links. The preliminary draft plan will be presented in the beginning of 2015 during public consultations in local governments.

Rail Baltic is an envisaged railway to connect Estonia with the rest of Europe as well as with the neighbouring Latvia and Lithuania. Supported by EU funding, the project is currently at a preparatory stage, with construction expected to start in 2017 or 2018.

Source: Government Communication Unit via Estonian Review

Tallinn Airport among the best airports in Europe

Tallinn Airport is among the best airports in Europe, based on the overall airport experience determined by travellers who had taken the site’s 2014 airport survey.

The survey conducted by airport guide Sleeping in Airports says that thoughtful touches like rest and relaxation zones, art galleries and museums, libraries that offer book rentals and exchanges, baby-beds in family rooms, and a few fitness and spa facilities help boost the impressiveness of the airports in the list.

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Estonian Air teams up with tour operators

Estonian Air has signed a cooperation agreement with tour operators Novatours and TEZ Tour to increase its share on the market of charter flights. According to the agreement Estonian Air will operate flights to Turkey and Croatia in 2015.

“This agreement is good news for the airline, tour operators and to all holiday takers from Estonia. It is convenient for passengers to communicate on board of an aircraft in their own language, as well as to see smiling crew members of their domestic airline on their holiday commute. We pay more attention to the market of charter flights so that we can keep our aircraft in regular operation and thus use the free capacity of our fleet economically,” said Indrek Randveer, the CCO of Estonian Air.

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Tallink owners plan to buy Estonian Air

According to the restructuring plan that will be submitted to the European Commission on Friday, Infortar, which is a joint owner of the Estonian shipping company Tallink, is also set to become the majority shareholder of Estonian Air.

If the revised restructuring program gets the Commission’s approval, Infortar is expected to invest in the national airline in the spring of 2015.

The changes in ownership also require the approval of the Estonian government.

“Estonia has been looking for opportunities to have a strong private investor among the owners of its national airline for the past three years,” said Ahti Kuningas, Chairman of the Supervisory Council. “Today we have an agreement with a partner who has by far the best vision for the future of the Estonian Air and excellent knowledge of the tourism industry.”

Infortar’s chairman of the management board, Ain Hanschmidt, said that his company wishes to deploy its extensive experience in tourism and service sectors, as well as its financial wherewithal for the benefit of Estonian Air, but this will no doubt be a major challenge.

“We see a few important possibilities for synergy with Tallink that should have an effect on the procurement prices, marketing and the sales network,” he said.

Estonian Air is Estonia’s national airline based in Tallinn at Lennart Meri International Airport. It own four Embraer 170 and three CRJ900 airplanes and operates flights on 10 regular routes, as well as a number of seasonal and charter flights.

Infortar is an investment company that relies on local capital. It owns 36 percent of Tallink Group and focuses on investments in the tourism, transport and real-estate sectors.

In 2013, Estonian Air suffered a deficit of 8.1 million euros. During the first six months of 2014 the airline had accumulated a 5-million-euro deficit.

Source: ERR News

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