Invitation to tender: Regional Air Services in Norway as of 1 April 2000

III Invitation to tender

Regional air services in Norway as of 1 april 2000

1. Introduction

Pursuant to Article 4.1 (a) of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2408/92 of 23 July 1992 on access for Community air carriers to intra-Community air routes (http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/lif/dat/en_392R2408.html), Norway has decided to impose public service obligations on scheduled regional air services as of 1 April 2000, as published 25 March 1999, cf. chapter II of this document.

Insofar as by two months from the latest day of submission of tenders, cf section 12 of this publication, no air carrier has provided documentary evidence to the Ministry of Transport and Communications of commencing scheduled flights on 1 April 2000 in conformity with the public service obligations imposed on one or more of the tenders stated in section 2 of this publication, without demanding financial compensation or market protection, Norway will apply the tender procedure provided for by Article 4.1 (d) of the same regulation, thereby limiting access as of 1 April 2000 to only one air carrier for each tender stated in section 2.

2. Objective of the Invitation to Tender

To provide, with effect from 1 April 2000, scheduled air services in accordance with the imposed public service obligations, as published in chapter II of this document.

The invitation includes 12 route areas, numbered 1 – 12, which are divided into 19 tenders. The route areas 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 comprise one single tender and the remaining route areas two tenders each (stated as A and B). The route areas and corresponding tenders are:

Route area 1

Tender 1Aroutes between Vadsø, Båtsfjord, Berlevåg, Mehamn, Honningsvåg and Hammerfest, and between these airports and Kirkenes and Alta

Tender 1BHasvik – Tromsø, Hasvik – Hammerfest, Sørkjosen – Tromsø

Route area 2

Tender 2 Vardø – Kirkenes

Route area 3

Tender 3 Lakselv – Tromsø

Route area 4

Tender 4 Andenes – Bodø, Andenes – Tromsø

Route area 5

Tender 5A Svolvær – Bodø

Tender 5B Leknes – Bodø

Route area 6

Tender 6 Røst – Bodø

Route area 7

Tender 7 Narvik (Framnes) – Bodø

Route area 8

Tender 8A Brønnøysund – Bodø, Brønnøysund – Trondheim

Tender 8B Sandnessjøen – Bodø, Sandnessjøen – Trondheim

Route area 9

Tender 9A Mo i Rana – Bodø, Mo i Rana – Trondheim, Mosjøen – Bodø, Mosjøen – Trondheim

Tender 9B Namsos – Trondheim, Rørvik – Trondheim

Route area 10

Tender 10AFlorø – Oslo

Tender 10BFlorø – Bergen

Route area 11

Tender 11AFørde – Oslo

Tender 11BFørde – Bergen

Route area 12

Tender 12ASogndal – Oslo, Sogndal – Bergen

Tender 12BSandane – Oslo, Sandane – Bergen, ørsta-Volda – Oslo, ørsta-Volda - Bergen

For each of the route areas 1, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 the carriers are invited to bid on tenders A and B combined, particularly if this would reduce the total compensation required for the route area. Tenderers are then obliged to clearly indicate the amount of compensation required for each tender (A and B), in case they are selected only for one of them.

For route area 2 the carriers may submit tenders also on the assumption that they are selected for route area 1 or tender 1A of this publication. Tenderers are then obliged to clearly indicate the amount of compensation required for route area 2 isolated, in case they are selected for this route area only.

For route area 4 the carriers may submit tenders also on the assumption that they are selected for route area 5 or route area 7 of this publication. Tenderers are then obliged to clearly indicate the amount of compensation required for route area 4 isolated, in case they are selected for this route area only.

For route area 6 the carriers may submit tenders also on the assumption that they are selected for route area 5 or tender 5B or route area 7 of this publication, or for the helicopter route Værøy – Bodø v.v., for which public service obligations were published in Official Journal of the European Communities No C 16 of 21 January 1999. Tenderers are then obliged to clearly indicate the amount of compensation required for route area 6 isolated, in case they are selected for this route area only.

For route area 11 the carriers may submit tenders also on the assumption that they are selected for route area 10 or route area 12 of this publication. Tenderers are then obliged to clearly indicate the amount of compensation required for route area 11 isolated, in case they are selected for this route area only.

3. Eligibility to Tender

All air carriers holding a valid operating licence pursuant to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2407/92 of 23 July 1992 on licensing of air carriers are eligible to tender (http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/lif/dat/en_392R2407.html).

4. Tender Procedure

This invitation to tender is subject to the provisions of subparagraphs (d), (e), (f), (g), (h) and (i) of Article 4.1 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2408/92.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications reserves the right to reject all tenders. Overdue tenders and tenders not in conformity with the invitation to tender will be rejected.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications reserves the right to apply subsequent negotitations if all tenders submitted are incorrect, or, if after the final date for receipt of tenders there proves to be only one tenderer or competition is otherwise insufficient. Such negotitations shall be in accordance with the public service obligations imposed and without making substantial changes in the original tender conditions.

The tender is binding to the tenderer until the award is made.

5. Award

5.1

As the principal rule, cf sections 5.2 and 5.3 of this publication, the award shall be made to the tender or, where relevant, the combination of tenders requiring the lowest amount of compensation for each route area, specified as follows:

a)for each of the route areas 1, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, to the tender or combination of tenders requiring the lowest amount of compensation within the route area during the period 1 April 2000 – 31 March 2003,

b)for each of the route areas 2, 3, 4 and 7 to the tender requiring the lowest amount of compensation during the period 1 April 2000 – 31 March 2003,

c)for route area 6, to the tender requiring the lowest amount of compensation on an annual basis.

5.2

If, for tender A or B within the route areas 1, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11 and/or 12, there are tenders requiring no compensation and thus market protection only, the award shall be made to such tenders notwithstanding section 5.1 above. The provisions of 5.1.a) will then apply to the remaining tender (B or A) within the route area concerned.

5.3

In case the award cannot be made subject to the provisions of 5.1 and 5.2 because there are tenders requiring identical amounts of compensation, the award shall be made to the tender or, where relevant, to the combination of tenders offering the highest number of seats within each of the route areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 during the period 1 April 2000 – 31 March 2003, and for route area 6, to the tender offering the highest number of seats on an annual basis.

6. Tender File

The full file for invitation to tender, containing the impositions of public service obligations, the specific rules to the invitation to tender (Norwegian Regulation on tender procedures in connection with public service obligations to implement Council Regulation (EEC) no 2408/92, Article 4), the standard contract and tender budget, may be obtained free of charge from the principal:

Ministry of Transport and Communications
P O Box 8010 Dep
N-0030 OSLO
telephone + 47 22 24 82 41
facsimile + 47 22 24 95 72

7. Financial Compensation

The tenders submitted shall be in accordance with the tender budget included in the tender file and explicitly mention the compensation in Norwegian kroner (NOK) required for operation of the service(s) in question from the scheduled starting date to the end of the contract period, cf. section 9 below. The tenders shall be based on the price level for the first operating year, here defined to be 1 April 2000 – 31 March 2001, and with an annual breakdown.

The exact amount of compensation granted for the operating years beginning 1 April 2001 and 1 April 2002 shall be based on an operating revenue and operating cost adjustment of the tender budget. These adjustments shall be within the limit of the consumer price index for the 12 month period ending 15 February the same year, as made public by Statistics Norway ( http://www.ssb.no/www-open/english/statistics_by_subject/).

The operator shall retain all revenue generated by the service and is fully responsible for the expenses, however, re-negotiation in accordance with the standard contract may apply in case of substantial and unforeseeable changes in the assumptions underlying it.

8. Fares

The tenders submitted shall specify the fares and the conditions thereto. The fares shall be in accordance with the public service obligations published in chapter II of this document.

9. Duration, Amendment and Termination of the Contract

For tender 6 the contract shall start on 1 April 2000 and end 31 July 2002 or 31 March 2003, cf 5.1.c) of this publication. The tenderers must clearly specify the duration of the contract.

For all other tenders the contract shall start on 1 April 2000 and end 31 March 2003.

The price adjustments specified in section 7 of this publication and an annual review of the implementation of the contract shall be carried out in concertation with the carrier during the six weeks preceding the anniversary of the starting date of the service.

The contract may not be modified unless the changes are in accordance with the public service obligations published in chapter II of this document. Any modification of the contract shall be recorded in an annex thereto.

The contract may be terminated by the carrier only at the end of a 12-month period of notice.

10. Breach of Contract/Cancellation

In the event of substantial breach of the contract, it may be cancelled with immediate effect by the other party.

Subject to the restrictions following insolvency law, the Ministry of Transport and Communications may cancel the contract with immediate effect if the operator becomes insolvent, initiates debt settlement proceedings or goes bankrupt. Equally the Ministry of Transport and Communications may cancel the contract in the other cases dealt with in section 12 of Regulation on tender procedures in connection with public service obligation, which is included in the tender file.

( http://www.lovdata.no/for/sf/sd/sd-19940415-0256.html)

If the operator owing to force majeure or other factors outside his control has been unable to comply with the public service obligations as stated in the contract for more than four of the past six months, the contract may be cancelled at one month’s written notice.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications may cancel the contract with immediate effect if the operator has his licence revoked or it is not renewed.

Notwithstanding any action for damages, the financial compensation shall be reduced in proportion to the total number of flights cancelled for reasons directly attributable to the carrier, if the number of flights cancelled for such reasons during an operating year exceeds 1.5 pct of the planned number of flights.

11. Airline Codes

The flights cannot carry any other airline codes than the tenderer’s own and cannot be part of any code-sharing agreement.

12. Submission of Tenders

Tenders must be sent by registered post with acknowledgement of receipt, in which case the postmark will be accepted as a proof of submission, or delivered by hand in return for a receipt, to:

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Akersgata 59 (visiting address)
P O Box 8010 Dep
N-0030 OSLO

not later than 25 June 1999, at 15.00 hrs (local time).

All tenders must be submitted in 3 – three – copies.

13. Validity of the Invitation to Tender

This invitation to tender shall be valid only to the extent that no EEA air carrier by two months from the latest day of submission of tenders, cf. section 12 of this publication, has provided documentary evidence to the Ministry of Transport and Communications of commencing scheduled air services on 1 April 2000 in accordance with the public service obligations imposed on one or more of the tenders stated in section 2 of this publication, without demanding financial compensation.