Tender procedure for air services to five regional airports launched
The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom has launched a tender procedure for the state-subsidised procurement of scheduled air services between five regional airports and the Helsinki Airport from 31 October 2022 to 30 July 2023.
Air services will be procured for the routes Helsinki–Joensuu, Helsinki–Jyväskylä and Helsinki–Kajaani and the triangular route between the Helsinki, Kokkola-Pietarsaari and Kemi-Tornio airports.
“By supporting air transport, we can ensure the necessary connectivity between Helsinki and regional airports. We have worked in close cooperation with the regions to ensure that the schedules would meet their needs as well as possible. In the schedule included in the invitation to tender, flights will be operated somewhat less frequently than at present because of the sharp increase in fuel prices. We have also taken into account passengers’ wishes regarding connecting flights, for example,” says Director Pipsa Eklund.
Tender procedure is based on Parliament-granted appropriation for purchasing air services
On 11 March 2022, the Finnish Parliament approved in the first supplementary budget of the year an appropriation of EUR 17 million that can be used to cover the costs of public service obligations concerning air services. Traficom has imposed a public service obligation on the routes in question.
The appropriation constitutes temporary support granted by Parliament because of the slow recovery of air transport. It is based on an earlier temporary solution adopted in 2020 to rebuild, in cooperation with the cities, market-based air services to the five airports towards the level preceding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current air services purchased by the central government to the airports in question will end on 14 August 2022. Because of the duration of the procurement process, the supported air services will be interrupted for two months if no services are started on the routes on market terms.
The contract notice has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union and on the Traficom website. All documents concerning the tender procedure and information on the public service obligation are available on the Traficom website (External link). Tenders can be submitted by all air carriers that are established in the European Union and meet the minimum criteria of the procedure. Tenders must be submitted at the latest on 29 August 2022 1:00 pm ((EET).