Nordica and LOT have signed a renewed cooperation agreement under which LOT will take over the management of ticket sales and customer service and Nordica will focus solely on operating flights.
As a result of the reorganisation, five unprofitable routes (Kyiv, Copenhagen, Vienna, Trondheim & Vilnius) will be suspended from the end of October until an improvement in the competitive situation is seen. Flights will continue from Tallinn to Stockholm, Brussels and Warsaw, which will be serviced by LOT from the 1st July.
According to Kristi Ojakäär, a member of Nordica’s Management Board, this is a forward-looking business decision. “Nordica has a duty to ensure the airline’s profitability and sustainability – this is what the ownership expects of us. Strong competition and oversupply of seats on Tallinn routes do not allow us to operate profitably, today. In order to maintain readiness and our ability to provide the necessary regional air connections to Estonia in the future, Nordica will continue to provide air services and LOT will deal with routes and ticket sales and will carry the commercial risk,” explained Ojakäär.
“Until today, Nordica had been carrying the commercial risk on all Tallinn routes and had simultaneously provided the air services. In foreign markets, however, we have been performing the role of a direct air service provider for several years, leaving the commercial risk to the vendor. We will now implement this model in all markets,” said Ojakäär.
The total volume of Nordica’s flights and the number of crew working for the airline will not decrease. At the same time, Nordica, who has so far used LOT’s ticketing system, will start developing its own commercial platform to ensure readiness for independent ticketing in the future.
According to Ojakäär, there are so many new routes and flying opportunities out of Tallinn that the situation is better than ever. “According to the current flight plan, Tallinn Airport has direct connections to 37 destinations. Being a local airline, Nordica has most certainly contributed to expanding the market, having offered strong competition to foreign companies,” said Ojakäär.
Rearrangement will have the highest impact on passengers who travel from Tallinn to Trondheim, as no other airline will be able to serve this direct connection as of the 26th October. Other Nordica destinations will be served by LOT, SAS, Wizz Air, Norwegian and AirBaltic after this date. Ojakäär gave assurances that tickets to the routes that are to be closed can be purchased up until the 26th October. Customers who have bought a ticket for Nordic flights after the 26th October will be offered alternative flight options or cash refunds.
Founded in 2015, Nordic Aviation Group AS (Nordica) has grown to become Estonia’s largest airline. Since 2016, Nordica has been cooperating with LOT Polish Airlines. Regional Jet, a subsidiary of Nordica (51%) and LOT (49%), provides air services to LOT, Nordica, SAS, Air Serbia, Flyby and various contract partners in Europe. Regional Jet operates 19 aircraft and carries about 2 million passengers per year, employing more than 500 aviation specialists in Estonia and abroad.