This is one in an ongoing series of articles on Winglets that will summarize past airlines and other operators of CRJ aircraft that are no longer in existence, or are no longer operating the type.
Estonian Air – AB Estonian Air
- IATA Code: OV
- ICAO Code: ELL
- Callsign: ESTONIAN
- Flag carrier airline of Estonia
- Operated CRJs from 2010-2013
- Number of CRJs Operated: 3 CRJ-900LR NextGens
- Order for 4 CRJ-900LRs cancelled before delivery
- Order for 2 CRJ-900LR NextGens cancelled
- Lease of 4 CRJ-200LRs from Maersk cancelled
Estonian Air was an airline based in Tallinn, Estonia. It operated as a regional airline feeding into the Scandinavian Airlines System via Stockholm, Oslo, Trondheim and Copenhagen from Estonia. The airline was established by the Estonian government with aircraft acquired from the defunct local Aeroflot Division and started operations in December 1991 with service to Frankfurt.
The airline operated a varied fleet of Eastern and Western aircraft, and only in recent years the airline moved towards a completely Western manufacturer supply chain for their aircraft as part of a fleet rationalization program. The airline operates in both a regional form with turboprops and small regional jet and with larger Boeing 737 aircraft.
As part of a modernization of the fleet, the airline placed orders for CRJ-900LR aircraft, but that order was deferred and converted to the CRJ-900LR NextGen series when it was announced and available. Deliveries of the NextGens occurred in late 2010 and the airline began operation with the type in early 2011. However, in the summer of 2012, the airline announced that it would not be accepting delivery of the final two aircraft on order due to financial concerns. Shortly thereafter, the airline also announced that it would be selling the new NextGens it operated and switching to a fleet of Embraer 170 aircraft due to being able to obtain certain financial agreements. By the end of Match 2013, all of the NextGens were to be phased out and put up for sale.
Airports served By CRJs
The following list is all of the airports Estonian Air served with CRJs:
- TLL – Tallinn
- AMS – Amsterdam
- BRU – Brussels
- CPH – Copenhagen
- KBP – Kiev
- LON – London-Gatwick
- OSL – Oslo
- CDG – Paris
- LED – St. Petersburg
- ARN – Stockholm
- TBS – Tbilisi
- TRD – Trondheim
- VIE – Vienna
- VNO – Vilnius
Estonian Air operated a total of three CRJ-900LR NextGens. The airline had ordered threeCRJ-900LR aircraft from a previous agreement, but they were deferred and changed to the NextGen version of the CRJ-900. Because of a funding issue, an additional two CRJ-900LR NextGens were never delivered. As part of that issue, the airline decided to remove the three newly built aircraft it did operate in the summer of 2012. The plan was to remove all of the aircraft from service by the end of March 2013 and replace them with an equal number of Embraer 170s. The CRJ-900s were stored before being leased out or sold to another carrier and thus would leave the airline’s fleet. The airline also considered leasing four CRJ-200LRs from Maersk Air, but these plans were cancelled and did not occur nor were specific aircraft earmarked for operation by the airline.
The following CRJ aircraft were operated by Estonian Air:
ES-ACB MSN 15261 CRJ-900LR NextGen
ES-ACC MSN 15262 CRJ-900LR NextGen
ES-ACD MSN 15276 CRJ-900LR NextGen
The following aircraft were originally ordered by the airline, but never delivered, the order being deferred until the newer and more capable CRJ-900LR NextGens were available:
ES-ACA (To: CX-CRH) MSN 15233 CRJ-900LR
ES-ACB (To: CX-CRI) MSN 15234 CRJ-900LR
ES-ACC (To: CX-CRK) MSN 15239 CRJ-900LR
The following aircraft was intended to be delivered, but the airline cancelled its agreement with Bombardier, another airframe was on order, but an MSN was not allocated.
ES-??? (To: C-GIAZ) MSN 15277 CRJ-900LR NextGen