LOT Polish Airlines (LO, Warsaw Chopin) has announced it will acquire a 49% stake in Estonian production carrier Regional Jet (EE, Tallinn Lennart Meri). The passenger charter specialist currently provides capacity to Nordica (EE, Tallinn Lennart Meri) which, for all intents and purposes, is a virtual airline.

“Nordica has entered a new phase of its development," Jaan Tamm, CEO of Nordica, said. "Cooperation with LOT Polish Airlines, a leading Central and Eastern European air carrier, will enhance the sustainability of our business model and ensure the financial security and reliability of our company in the international aviation market. The willingness of LOT to become a shareholder in our subsidiary Regional Jet shows that cooperation with Nordica is taken seriously and that LOT sees it as a long-term partnership rather than a short-term project."

Nordica operates two CRJ-700s and four CRJ-900ERs, sourced from Adria Airways and Regional Jet, with a single E145 and Fokker 100 each sourced from bmi regional (BM, Aberdeen Dyce) and Carpatair (V3, Timisoara) respectively.

As part of the transaction, LOT will replace Slovenia's Adria Airways (JP, Ljubljana) as Nordica's technical partner with effect from November 19. From then on, LOT will provide Nordica with a joint commercial platform and ticketing system as well as code-sharing. In return, Nordica begin operating regional European flights in conjunction with LOT.

As such, two of Nordica's six Bombardier Regional Jets will be based in Warsaw Chopin and fly to Tallinn Lennart Meri, Stockholm Arlanda (the first route to be operated under the venture), and Moscow Vnukovo. LOT will, in turn, base one of its Embraer Regional Jets in Estonia, which Nordica will fly to Munich.