Estonia's Public Procurement Complaints Board (Riigihangete vaidlustuskomisjon (VAKO) has rejected an appeal by virtual flag carrier Nordica (EE, Tallinn Lennart Meri) against a decision that nullified its subsidiary Regional Jet's contract to serve Saaremaa, the Baltic country's biggest island, the Estonian broadcaster ERR has reported.

In early June, the Estonian Road Administration (Maanteeamet), the authority responsible for Saaremaa's transport links with the mainland, declared the award of a Public Service Obligation (PSO) route between Tallinn Lennart Meri and Kuressaare invalid, leaving it unclear who would operate the route.

Regional Jet had won the contract for the route, which until then had been operated by Lithuania's TransAviaBaltika (KTB, Kaunas). Nordica won an appeal against that decision in early May. Now VAKO has rejected Nordica's appeal.

Meanwhile, Meelis Telliskivi, deputy director of the Estonian Road Administration, has told ERR that a new round of procurement for the Kuressaare route was being prepared, saying, "We have started preparing a new procurement process, but it is too early to say when it will go to the public procurement register".

The most recent procurement round's result, estimated at EUR26 million euro (USD29.16 million), was announced in December 2018 and ultimately renewed TransAviaBaltika's contract, despite issues around its 19-seat Let 410 and Jetstream 32 turboprops being too small. This decision was reversed, turning the contract over to Regional Jet, only for this too to be cancelled. The Lithuanian carrier has continued to operate the route and also serves Kärdla on Estonia's second-largest island, Hiiumaa.