Nordica, which forms part of the Nordic Aviation Group, will be operating its first regular flights today, having been internationally certified as an airline and issued with an International Air Transport Association (IATA) code. This is also the first time that passengers have purchased tickets from Nordica’s own sales platform.

Chief Commercial Officer Deepak Ahluwalia says that it may come as a surprise to many people to learn that Nordica has only now become an airline in IATA terms. “That said, it was never a secret that we were using other airlines’ ticket sales systems and outsourcing flight operation services from other companies,” he remarked. “Fully breaking away from LOT Polish Airlines and ensuring we have the capacity we need to operate independently are developments that have occurred over the last year or so.”

The first regular flight to be operated by Nordica under its own name will take off from Tallinn at 11:20 today to serve the Gällivare-Arvidjaur-Stockholm route the airline won for itself in a Swedish public procurement.

Ahluwalia says that route procurements represent the greatest potential for Nordica at the moment, since amid the coronavirus crisis, airlines are not willing to take the risk of launching routes whose profitability is uncertain. However, local authorities and other organisations and agencies responsible for transport links are looking for routes to be launched. “We’re taking part in quite a number of other European procurements, and if we win them we’ll be operating the routes using our own aircraft and crews,” Ahluwalia explained. “It’s a similar model to the one for flights between Tallinn and the Estonian islands.”

Chairman of the Management Board Erki Urva says that Nordica’s charter flights will be operated under the airline’s new code, as will future regular flights out of Tallinn once the market has recovered from the pandemic and demand for flights out of the Estonian capital reaches the required level. “The route procurements taking place outside of the country don’t negate direct flights from Tallinn,” he said. “Quite the reverse: they’re providing us with income to operate with that doesn’t rely on ticket sales or how full our flights are. They’re a great business opportunity for us, and a chance for us to export our service, all of which is helping us get by in the crisis.”

Urva says that by continuing to operate in this way, the Nordic Aviation Group will directly fulfil its owner’s expectations, ensuring not only the airline’s ability to continue operating flights and retain qualified personnel through route procurements, but also its readiness to launch direct flights from Tallinn as soon as the market conditions are right.

Founded in 2015, the Nordic Aviation Group has grown to become the biggest airline in Estonian history. Nordica’s subsidiary Regional Jet, which operates under the Xfly trademark, provides flight services to Nordica, LOT, SAS and other procurement-based partners in Europe.