To mark International Civil Aviation Day, Nordica is taking a look back at its first year of operations. The airline got off the ground in November 2015, with the first flights in aircraft bearing the Nordica colours taking place in March this year. 9000 regular flights have since been operated, as well as flights operated for our partners. In total, passengers have been flown with Nordica’s help to more than 360 destinations around the world, and by the end of 2016 passenger numbers are expected to have reached around 400,000.

"Our first few months weren’t easy,” concedes CEO Jaan Tamm. “We had to start out with chartered aircraft, and the feedback was got wasn’t always positive. People expected more from us than we were able to give them at first. Getting the airline up and running was a stressful time. But looking back, we actually pulled off a pretty remarkable achievement – normally there’s no way you can build up an airline offering a public service in that short a time. Luckily for us, we’ve had a lot of supporters and a lot of people who’ve believed in the need for an Estonian airline since the very beginning.”

Today the situation at Nordica has changed completely. In November 2016 the company launched a partnership with LOT Polish Airlines which has greatly improved connectivity with destinations all over the globe. 85% of flights operated in November 2016 were on time (meaning they departed within 15 minutes of their scheduled departure time) and 99.2% of scheduled flights actually took place.

Flights are now predominantly operated using Nordica’s own aircraft, of which it has six. A further two planes will be added to its fleet for the summer season in 2017.

Many people have come to understand the need for Nordica as a national airline over the last 12 months. It guarantees a number of very important connections with European cities, and new destinations are constantly being sought. Cooperation is also being fostered with other airlines, a key element of which is code-sharing and other such agreements that make travelling more convenient for passengers. Over the last few months Nordica has retained its leader’s position as the airline serving the most passengers from Tallinn Airport, outstripping all of its competitors.

Nordica is Estonia’s national airline. Now that the majority of its flights are being operated with its own aircraft, the emphasis is on service in Estonian, along with other touches that local passengers appreciate – Estonian-language newspapers and local items on the in-flight menu. The summer schedule includes direct flights to some enticing resorts around Europe, including Nice in France and Rijeka in Croatia. With the flight schedule for business travellers it is important that departing flights leave early in the morning and that the returning flights bring them home at a reasonable hour. A new route will be added to the schedule starting in May: regular flights between Tallinn and Hamburg.

On International Civil Aviation Day Nordica doffs its hat to all of its passengers and supporters, and of course to all of those who work in the field of Estonian aviation.