On the evening of July 3rd the first Riga-Tartu flight was performed by Air Baltic 46-passenger Fokker 50. Riga-Tartu flights are available 7 days a week. The flight time is only 50 minutes. Since the 24th of August, Estonian Air also offers flights between Tartu and Stockholm. A 33-passenger Saab 340 travels between the two cities four times a week. The flight time is 1.5 hour.
After four months of business, Air Baltic has increased its number of flights several times. Since the 1st of November, Tartu-Riga flights are offered daily, and even twice daily three days a week. Initially Air Baltic wanted to offer two flights a day six days a week, but the number of passengers made the company adjust its plans accordingly. Estonian Air continues to fly to Stockholm four days a week. Due to the increased availability of flights the number of customers has also significantly increased. On the 29th of October, Tartu Airport had its 5000th passenger. ‘The rapidly growing number of passengers in such a short period of time makes us certain that the air connection with Tartu will only improve with time’, - says Karin Jaanson, Tartu Vice Mayor. ‘Beginning is always hard, but in cooperation with the city government, airlines try to find flight times that are most suitable for passengers and add new flights’.
Tartu Mayor, Urmas Kruuse, believes that international flights are of great importance to Tartu and are a welcome travel option for many city visitors. ‘Tartu is, of course, an international destination. More than 20 000 students and lecturers from Estonia and all over the world study and work here. Our city hosts many international conferences and seminars’, - says Kruuse.
Tartu airport director, Rein Mark, says that with the completion of the passenger terminal construction last month, passengers no longer need to go to the planes through the airport office building and that the new terminal shall satisfy the most demanding passengers.
The city of Tartu has 73 hotels and hostels with a total of 1829 beds, about 240 original restaurants, 70 conference and seminar rooms for 8000 participants in total, conference halls with the largest one holding up to 1000 participants and professional conference organizers. Tartu hosts more than 4000 various cultural events yearly. Tartu offers numerous possibilities for creative and active vacationing, both pre-tour and post-tour. Tartu is the medicine and science center of Estonia with high-level IT services and free WiFi Internet everywhere in downtown.
The last regular flight operated between Tartu and Helsinki for a short period of time in 2000. Since then Tartu Airport was used for charter flights and flight training.
Tartu-Riga-Tartu flights since 1st November 2009:
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun BT052
Mon, Wed*, Fri, Sun BT054
Mon, Wed*, Fri, Sun BT 053
Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat BT 051
Tue, Sun BT 055
* The flight is operated until 4th November 2009
Tartu-Stockholm-Tartu flights since 25th October 2009:
Thu, Sun OV671
Mon, Fri OV671
Thu, Sun OV672
Mon, Fri OV672
More information: www.visittartu.com