The municipality of Pori on Finland's western coast has approved an offer by Hungary's Budapest Aircraft Services (RP, Budapest) to operate a 3x weekdaily Public Service Obligation (PSO) route to Helsinki Vantaa using E120 equipment, the regional newspaper Satakunnan Kansa has reported.

Starting on August 1, three frequencies have been scheduled every weekday in a service aimed at business travellers. The E120 will be able to carry up to thirty passengers. The contract period will be covered by the PSO until the end of 2022 and runs under the brand Karhu Aero.

The municipality laid out a tender for the route early this year, after the previous operator, Sweden's NextJet, filed for bankruptcy in May 2018. There were four bids, from which the Hungarian carrier's was approved. The municipality will support the route with EUR11.2 million euros (USD12.57 million) over three years.

Budapest Aircraft Service is no stranger to Finland, having previously operated between Helsinki and Savonlinna. Airlink Finland chartered an E120ER from the carrier after one of RAF-Avia's Saab 340Bs operating the route for Airlink was damaged during landing in Savonlinna in January after a ferry flight from Riga.

Mayor Aino-Maija Luukkonen commented that experience from other countries showed the airline to be very reliable with well-maintained schedules. "The timetable is designed specifically to support business travel and seeks to ensure connections both to Europe and Asia. [...] A late-night frequency will ensure that business and other travellers can get home for the night," he added.