|Hubs||Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport|
Aero Airlines was a regional airline based in Tallinn, Estonia. It operated services between three Finnish destinations as well as international flights to Tallinn. All of their flights were operated under Finnair's designation AY. Its main bases were Helsinki-Vantaa and Tallinn-Lennart Meri. Aero ceased its operations in January 2008.
The name harkens back to Aero Airlines's and Finnair's first incarnation, Aero AS, founded in 1923, and its first Junkers F 13 seaplane took off from Helsinki harbor in Katajanokka to a lake near to the present Ülemiste Airport in Tallinn for its first flight, March 20, 1924, carrying 162 kg (357 lbs) of mail. Other destinations were quickly added: Stockholm and Königsberg, from where passengers took trains respectively to Göteborg (sometimes boarding other planes to Copenhagen, Oslo and London) and to Berlin, and passengers began to queue up at some periods — up to 48 per day in 1926 waiting for the four-seaters to fly them.
After initial reluctance from the Finnish authorities to build airports, Aero's fleet could eventually dispose of its seaplanes and get on wheel-landing aircraft in 1938. But the airlines disappeared as a consequence of the annexion of Estonia by the Soviet Union in June 1940.
Finnair retained Aero AS's IATA designator AY, while the modern-day Aero Airlines flew as EE. The airline was re-established in 2000 and started operations in March 2002 within the Baltic region. It was owned by Aero Holding (51%) and Finnair (49%), was the ownership was later transferred wholly to Finnair. Aero had 128 employees (at March 2007).
- Flight International 27 March 2007, p. 46
- (English) Aero Airlines official website at the Wayback Machine
- (Estonian) Aero Airlines official website at the Wayback Machine