Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport (Estonian: Lennart Meri Tallinna lennujaam) (IATA: TLL, ICAO: EETN), formerly Ülemiste Airport is the largest airport in Estonia and home base of the national airline Estonian Air. Tallinn Airport is open to both domestic and international flights. It is located approximately 4 kilometers from the centre of Tallinn on the eastern shore of Lake Ülemiste.
The airport has a single asphalt-concrete runway that is 3070 meters long and 45 meters wide (large enough to handle wide-bodied aircraft such as the Boeing 747), five taxiways and fourteen terminal gates. Ground handling is provided by Tallinn Airport GH.
The airport has also seen military use as an interceptor aircraft base. It was home to 384 IAP (384th Interceptor Aircraft Regiment) which flew MiG-23P aircraft.
Since March 29, 2009 the airport is officially known as Lennart Meri Tallinn International Airport, in honour of the leader of the Estonian independence movement and second President of Estonia Lennart Meri.
The building of Tallinn Airport started in 1932, and the airport was opened officially on 20 September 1936, although it had been operational a good while before the official opening. Before World War II, Tallinn Airport had regular connections to abroad by at least Deutsche Luft Hansa, LOT and the Finnish company Aero (now Finnair). Between 1945 and 1989, Aeroflot was the only airline that served Tallinn Airport. Regular flights with jet aircraft began in 1962. A new terminal building was built in the late 1970s and the runway was also lengthened then. The first foreign airline since World War II to operate regular flights from Tallinn was SAS in the autumn of 1989. The terminal building was completely modernised in 1999 and greatly expanded in 2008.
The airport underwent a large expansion project between January 2006 and September 2008. The terminal was expanded in three directions, resulting in 18 new gates, separate lounges for Schengen and non-Schengen passengers, 10 new check-in desks and a new restaurant and cafes. Outside the terminal, the apron was refurbished and expanded and a new taxiway was added. The new terminal allows the airport to handle twice as many passengers as it could handle before.
Estonian Air Boeing 737-500 at Tallinn AirportAfter the death of former president of Estonia Lennart Meri on 14 March 2006, journalist Argo Ideon from Eesti Ekspress proposed to honor the president's memory by naming Tallinn Airport after him – "Tallinna Lennart Meri Rahvusvaheline Lennujaam" (Lennart Meri International Airport), drawing parallels with JFK Airport, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, Istanbul-Atatürk Airport etc. Ideon's article also mentioned the fact that Meri himself had shown concern for the condition of the then Soviet-era construction (in one memorable case Meri, having arrived from Japan, led the group of journalists that were expecting him, to the airport's toilets to do the interview there, in order to point out the shoddy condition of the facilities).
The name change was discussed at a board meeting on 29 March 2006, and on the opening of the new terminal on 19 September 2008, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip officially announced the renaming would take place in March, 2009
Terminal building seen over Lake ÜlemisteThere are a small number of vendors in the terminal building, including three restaurants, three coffee shops, a duty free shop, cigar lounge, book store, travel shop, gift shop etc.
Passenger facilities provided include: post office, telephone services, free wired/wireless Internet access and a business lounge. Travel agency, currency exchange, cash machines (ATM) and porter services are also available. There are two bus stops at the terminal, one stop in front of the departure area (the bus comes from the city centre) and another one in front of the arrivals area (the bus goes to the city centre).
There is a new public bus line "90K" between the city center and Tallinn airport. Tickets cost 2€ and the line operates from 8:00 to 18:00 every 30 minutes. There is also a bus line "2" operated by MRP which has a schedule on their site. The bus line "2" also travels through the harbour, so if you are coming to Tallinn via air and are going on a cruise, take the bus "2".
|Avies||Kärdla, Pajala, Sveg|
|EasyJet||Liverpool [ends 26 October 2012], London-Stansted|
|Estonian Air||Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Hannover [begins 2 April], Kajaani [begins 3 April], Kiev-Boryspil, London-Gatwick, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda, Trondheim, Vienna, Vilnius, Tbilisi [begins 8 April]
Seasonal: Venice-Marco Polo [begins 9 June 2012], Nice
operated by Estonian Air Regional
|Helsinki, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kuressaare, Riga, St Petersburg, Stockholm-Arlanda, Tartu, Vilnius|
operated by Flybe Nordic
|Flybe Nordic||Stockholm-Bromma, Tampere [ends 22 April 2012]|
|LOT Polish Airlines||Warsaw-Chopin|
|Norwegian Air Shuttle||Oslo-Gardermoen|
|Ryanair||Bremen, Dublin, Girona, Hahn, London-Luton, Milan-Orio al Serio, Oslo-Rygge, Stockholm-Skavsta, Weeze
|Air Europa||Seasonal: Barcelona, Tenerife South|
|AMC Airlines||Seasonal: Hurghada|
|Bulgaria Air||Seasonal: Burgas, Varna|
|Bulgarian Air Charter||Seasonal: Varna [begins 25 May 2012]|
|Estonian Air||Seasonal: Antalya, Catania, Corfu, Faro, Heraklion,Larnaca, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Trieste, Reykjavik-Keflavik|
|Pullmantur Air||Seasonal: Madrid [begins 16 June 2012]|
|SmartLynx Airlines||Seasonal: Goa, Gran Canaria, Hurghada, Seville, Kirkenes, Taba, Heraklion, Funchal-Madeira, Sharm EI Sheikh|
|Small Planet Airlines||Vilnius [begins 18 May 2012]|
|AirBridgeCargo Airlines||Krasnoyarsk, Moscow|
|Ark Airways||Sary-Arka airport in Karaganda,Kazakhstan|
|DHL Aviation operated by Exin||Helsinki|
|Jade Cargo International||Amsterdam|
|TNT Airways||Malmö, Turku|
|Turkish Airlines Cargo||Istanbul|
|ULS Airlines Cargo||Istanbul|
Total passengers using the airport has increased on average by 14.2% annually since 1998. Passenger data reflects international and domestic flights combined, share of domestic flights compared to international flights was marginal. Passenger and cargo numbers exclude direct transit.
|Year||Total Passengers||Aircraft movements||Total Cargo|
|Rank||City||Airport||Passengers (2011)||1.|| Riga||Riga International Airport||5,106,692|
|2.|| Tallinn||Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport||1,913,172|
|3.|| Vilnius||Vilnius International Airport||1,714,258|
|4.|| Kaunas||Kaunas International Airport||872,618|
|5.|| Palanga||Palanga International Airport||111,133|
|6|| Tartu||Tartu Airport||18,583|
|7.|| Kuressaare||Kuressaare Airport||17,822|
|8.|| Kärdla||Kärdla Airport||10,695|
|9.|| Pärnu||Pärnu Airport||3,863|
Tallinn Airport handled 1,811,536 passengers in 2008 which is 4.8% more than in 2007.
Also 41,654 aircraft movements (7% growth) and 41,867 tonnes of mail and freight (84% growth compared to 2007) were handled in 2008.
83% of passengers were flying on scheduled flights, 17% on non-scheduled flights. The most popular holiday destinations proved to be resorts in Egypt, Turkey, Spain and Greece, whilst furthest long-haul charter destinations included India and Thailand.
The most popular scheduled destinations were Helsinki, London, Copenhagen and Oslo. Two new destinations—Minsk and Munich were introduced in 2008, as well as a seasonal route to Rome (by Estonian Air).
The busiest days were 27 June, when 7103 passengers passed through the airport's premises and 6 June when 172 aircraft movements (86 flights) were handled. The biggest aircraft served at Tallinn Airport, Boeing 747-400, weighed 413 tonnes, while the smallest ultralight had the maximum take-off weight of just 270 kg (600 lb). The furthest destination was San Jose in US California, 8,822 km (5,482 mi) from Tallinn. 216 different airlines, flying to/from 372 destinations in the world used the services of Tallinn Airport.
Antonov An-26 on the ice of Lake Ülemiste.*On 18 March 2010 an Exin Antonov An-26 aircraft made an emergency landing on the frozen Lake Ülemiste, close to Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport. Initial reports indicated problems with the landing gear and one of the engines. The flight was operated by Exin on behalf of DHL. The aircraft involved was SP-FDO and the flight had departed from Helsinki Airport. Two of the six crew members were injured.
- On 25 August 2010 an Exin Antonov An-26 aircraft made an emergency landing on the runway of Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport. Initial reports indicated problems with the landing gear during takeoff. The flight was being operated by Exin on behalf of DHL. The aircraft involved was SP-FDP and the flight was scheduled to fly to Helsinki Airport. None of the four crew members were injured.