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Tendering process launched for five domestic flight routes

The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom has launched a tendering process for scheduled air service on five domestic routes. The aim of the tendering process is to safeguard essential flight connections.

The routes included in the tendering process, for which financial support can be granted, are the routes from Helsinki to Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kokkola-Pietarsaari, Kemi-Tornio and Kajaani airports. Based on the tendering, Traficom aims to procure air services for these routes for period starting earliest 19 April 2021 until 31 December 2021. The routes included in the tendering process were determined by a working group on regional air services.

“Our goal is to safeguard essential flight connections between Helsinki and other domestic airports under the prevailing circumstances. At the same time, we want to facilitate the restoration of market-driven transport services, ensure the availability of air services and contribute to economic recovery,” says Director Pipsa Eklund.

“According to air service recovery forecasts, it will take some time for the situation to return to the state before the coronavirus crisis, so supporting air services under the current circumstances will help support domestic routes in the future as well,” states Deputy Director-General Jarkko Saarimäki

Tendering underpinned by an additional appropriation for air transport granted by Parliament

The tendering process is underpinned by an EUR 11.5 million appropriation approved by the Finnish Parliament in November, which can be used to cover the costs arising from the public obligation to provide air transport services. The obligation to provide transport services imposed by Traficom sets a minimum level for the airlines participating in the tendering process. Tenders can be submitted by all Community air carriers that meet the minimum criteria set for the tendering process.

The tendering process is based on transport volumes, passenger capacity and other route-specific preconditions, such as the capacity to transport special baggage. The minimum number of connections is two daily return flights on weekdays. The minimum number of passenger seats on the Joensuu and Kemi-Kokkola routes, which will operate as a so-called triangle route, is 50, while the minimum number of seats on other routes is 29. 

As part of the tendering process, Traficom has defined maximum prices for flight tickets and certain responsibilities for air transport operators pertaining to the smoothness of the transport chain. The maximum price for one-way tickets is EUR 200 and the maximum price for return tickets is EUR 300. The maximum prices will ensure reasonable pricing and the competitiveness of the flight routes. 

Traficom has had intensive discussions with regional representatives about regional needs and wishes. For example, the operation of the Kemi-Kokkola route as a so-called triangle route was proposed to Traficom by regional representatives.

Additionally, Traficom has also reviewed the preconditions for the fulfilment of the obligation to provide transport services for the routes included in the procurement process.

The call for tenders has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union and on Traficom’s website. The tendering material and information on the obligation to provide transport services are available on Traficom’s website (External link). Tenders can be submitted until March 16th 2021.

Traficom is also organising a separate call for tenders for air services to Savonlinna Airport. The obligation to provide transport services is valid for four years for Savonlinna. The tendering documents for Savonlinna will be published on the same website as the other tendering material.

Calls for tenders will be published in English as soon as possible on Traficom website. At the time being tender documents are only in Finnish. 

Further information:

Pipsa Eklund, Director, Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, pipsa.eklund(at), tel. 029 534 5396