Canada-Estonia: How to get there… flight update for the 2009 season

Our declining economy is catching up with airlines as well. There used to be quite a few routes for getting to Estonia from Canada – but the options are getting thinner and thinner… Here are some updates for the 2009 summer season!  PLEASE NOTE: The quoted rates are lowest rates at the time of the last page update. All prices are subject to seat availability at the time of booking, fares and taxes can change at any time without prior notice. Always please let us know the actual travel dates for an exact quote!

FINNAIR: Canadians and Canadian Estonians travel to Tallinn usually during the summer – when you can get a convenient flight with Finnair from Toronto via Helsinki. The direct Toronto-Helsinki Finnair flights run from June 7th until September 11th in 2009, before and after that Finnair customers have to travel from Toronto to London or New York and from there on to Helsinki – and then Tallinn. Finnair has “special rates” also from Montreal, Halifax, Vancouver and Calgary – but the direct Helsinki flights operate still only from Toronto.

From October through April Finnair has low airfares – but taxes via LHR or JFK end up quite high. The Finnair fares are out for SUMMER 2009 already. The prices are very good for the “shoulder season” (7JUN-25JUN & 10AUG-30SEP) and still the cheapest for the “high season” (26JUN-9AUG) as compared to other airlines. Click here for Finnair fare sheet for 2009. Please note that Finnair does not have any weekend surcharges.

It has to be noted that some Toronto-Helsinki flights are getting pretty heavy already and the cheapest seats may not be available any more. The “difficult” outbound dates are already June 9, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28 and 30. Most July departures look still OK.

What comes to the Helsinki –Toronto flights: most of June is still OK but June 25 is sold out for the cheaper seats. The departures of July 7, 12, 14 and 21 are getting full as well.

If you are going to Tallinn, then on some dates the Helsinki-Tallinn flights pose an even bigger problem, especially Helsinki-Tallinn before the Song Festival (Jul 2-4) and Tallinn-Helsinki flights after the festivities. Even if the transatlantic flight is available, then the connecting flight might be sold out and you would have to either opt for a higher price category or a longer wait in Helsinki.

This “seat” situation changes all the time, so these notes are reflecting the info as of February 26th.

CZECH AIRLINES used to fly to Toronto all year round – but in 2009 they have their Toronto-Prague only during the summer season. The carrier will operate four weekly flights from Prague to Toronto, stretching from early May until mid-October – but the same day connections do not work on the way back from Tallinn, so it can be useful for people who want to stop over in Prague for a day or two.

Same goes for LUFTHANSA fares tend to be quite pricey during the summer – but they sometimes have good fares for low season via Frankfurt. Lufthansa has a direct flight to Frankfurt also from Ottawa and Montreal. Unfortunately their flights do not connect the same day on the way back from Tallinn. But in case you don’t mind an overnight in Frankfurt – you could try that route and earn some Aeroplan points at the same time…

KLM ROYAL DUTCH AIRLINES used to have the best daily connections from Toronto and Montreal to Tallinn – but the airline decided to cancel their Amsaterdam-Tallinn route as of 4 May, 2009. All the ticketed flights that are scheduled after that date will be re-routed by the airline.

LOT POLISH AIRLINES and AUSTRIAN AIRLINES used to connect to Tallinn twice a week – but they cancelled their Tallinn flights already last fall.

You can use KLM, LUFTHANSA and ICELANDAIR flights to Helsinki and take a short flight or a boat-ride over to Tallinn – but that of course is extra cost and hassle. But if you want to see the Finnish capital as well, then it might not be a bad combination.

There are other ways as well to get to Estonia from Canada. If you are adventurous enough, we can find you a charter flight to London, Frankfurt or Hamburg – and continue with Estonian Air to Tallinn. This way it is usually quite hard to make the connections fit with the lowest rates (unless you are very lucky!) but it would be suitable for example to someone intending to stop over in London.

updated 24 Feb/2009

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