On February 27, national carrier Estonian Air began operating regular flights from Tallinn to Tartu, establishing the first major air connection between the nation's two largest cities since Soviet times.
The 40-minute flights, which are offered daily Monday to Saturday, depart Tartu in the early morning hours and leave Tallinn just before midnight. The schedule was designed to allow Tartu passengers to link up with flights to other European destinations, a statement on the Tartu Airport's website said.
The most popular way to travel between the two cities is by road, with the journey taking 2 to 2.5 hours. A rail trip takes 2.5 to 3 hours.
"We don't want to compete with the buses, which depart every hour, or with cars. Our goal is to create an air service for Tartu residents and visitors, to put Tartu on the map of world air travel," said Estonian Air Vice-President Rauno Parras.
Tartu Airport extended its runway in 2009, allowing it to accommodate regular commercial flights. Apart from the new Tallinn route, the only other regular service it currently offers is an AirBaltic connection to Riga.