21.10.2006   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 255/12


Imposition of public service obligations in respect of scheduled air services between the Canary Islands pursuant to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2408/92 of 23 July 1992

(2006/C 255/06)

(Text with EEA relevance)

I.   Air routes concerned.

Public service obligations shall be imposed in respect of scheduled air services provided on the following routes:

(a)

Gran Canaria — Tenerife Norte

(b)

Gran Canaria — Tenerife Sur

(c)

Gran Canaria — Lanzarote

(d)

Tenerife Norte — Lanzarote

(e)

Gran Canaria — Fuerteventura

(f)

Gran Canaria — El Hierro

(g)

Gran Canaria — La Palma

(h)

Tenerife Norte — Fuerteventura

(i)

Tenerife Norte — El Hierro

(j)

Tenerife Norte — La Palma

(k)

La Palma — Lanzarote

(l)

Gran Canaria- La Gomera

(m)

Tenerife Norte — La Gomera

II.   General conditions.

1.

Community air carriers wishing to operate scheduled air services in conformity with the public service obligations governed by this Decision must hold a valid operating licence, in accordance with Council Regulation (EEC) No 2407/92 of 23 July 1992 on licensing of air carriers.

2.

Such carriers must submit to the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation [Dirección General de Aviación Civil], by the dates and within the time limits specified in paragraph 3 of this section, the schedule of operations on routes subject to public service obligations, which shall cover a minimum period of twelve consecutive months. This schedule must be presented separately from the rest of the schedule of flights they may submit for the operation of services on other routes.

The schedule of operations on routes subject to public service obligations shall include the following information:

(a)

route on which the carrier wishes to operate;

(b)

operating periods in the relevant International Air Transport Association (IATA) scheduling seasons;

(c)

flight identification number;

(d)

timetables;

(e)

available capacity;

(f)

period and days on which the service is to be operated;

(g)

type of aircraft/number of seats/cargo capacity;

(h)

configuration of passenger compartment, where appropriate;

(i)

written confirmation of knowledge and acceptance of the continuity of the schedule of operations imposed as part of the public service obligations laid down in this Decision.

Approval for any permanent amendment to the flight schedule agreed for each carrier must be obtained from the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation. Such amendments must be notified to the Government of the Canary Islands.

The carrier must also submit a document detailing the fares and associated conditions to be applied in accordance with the specific conditions laid down in paragraph 2 of Section III of this Annex.

3.

The following must be taken into account when submitting flight schedules:

3.1.

By the dates and subject to the conditions specified below, each air carrier shall submit its schedule of services, split according to the winter and summer scheduling seasons:

(a)

if the start of the service schedule coincides with the beginning of the summer scheduling season, it shall be submitted before 1 March and shall include the planned schedule for the following winter scheduling season;

(b)

if the start of the service schedule coincides with the beginning of the winter scheduling season, it shall be submitted before 1 October and shall include the planned schedule for the following summer scheduling season.

3.2.

In the case of access to the market at any other time of year, the carrier shall submit its service schedule at least thirty calendar days before the planned date of commencement of its operations and shall include the schedule of services for the part-period corresponding to the scheduling season in which operations are to commence and the planned schedule for the rest of the period so as to cover a full twelve months' operation. Starting with the scheduling season following that in which operations commenced, the carrier shall follow the procedure laid down in paragraph 3.1.

3.3.

Service schedules shall be considered to have been approved if the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation has not delivered an opinion on them by the planned first day of operation. In all cases, however, services may be commenced once they have been expressly approved by the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation.

Approval shall be subject to verification that the schedule meets the public service obligations, taking account of the schedules of all the carriers involved.

4.

Air carriers shall undertake to operate their service schedule for a minimum period of twelve consecutive months. If, on a specific route, there is a new entrant or an operator significantly increases its schedule of flights, other carriers operating on that route may choose to maintain their schedule or adjust their service schedule without affecting compliance with the public service obligations. Nevertheless, a carrier may definitively cease providing services if it notifies the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation accordingly at least six months before the planned end of the agreed period of operation.

5.

If, for all the operating carriers combined, load factors on a route in the summer or winter period continuously exceed 75 %, save in the case of seasonal operation of routes, carriers which have an operational service schedule must take the necessary steps to increase the capacity available so as to reduce the percentage specified above. The above provision shall not apply in the circumstances referred to in paragraph 2.3(a) ‘Fares’ of Section III of this Annex.

6.

For the purposes of this Decision, the terms below shall have the following meanings:

(a)

air fare: the price expressed in euros which passengers must pay to air carriers or their agents for transporting them and their baggage by air in accordance with the conditions attached in each case. The fare shall include remuneration paid to and the conditions offered to agencies and taxes, excluding the tax for the use of infrastructures and the security tax.

The total price given in the carriage contract shall be broken down to show: the fare, the tax for the use of infrastructures and the security tax;

(b)

reference fare: the lowest fare to which price conditions are not attached, as laid down in paragraph 2.1 of Section III;

(c)

promotional fare: fare with a discount of at least 10 % on the reference fare to be subject to conditions determined by the air carrier;

(d)

flexible fare: a fare that may include services additional to those provided for the reference fare and which may not exceed the percentages laid down in paragraph 2.3.(b) of Section III of this Annex.

(e)

Social fare: the fare laid down by air carriers for certain categories of passenger, to which the conditions and prices laid down in paragraph 2.3.(c) of Section III of this Annex shall apply.

III.   Specific conditions

1.

The specific conditions associated with the public service obligations for the routes specified in Section I are as follows:

1.1

Period of operation, minimum frequency, timetables and capacity offered.

1.1.1

For flights from Gran Canaria and Tenerife Norte, with the exception of those to the island of La Gomera, the timetables shall be such as to guarantee departures between 07.00 and 08.30 and return flights at the end of the day, subject to the limits imposed by airport operating hours.

1.1.2

On the routes referred to under (c), (e) and (j) below, air carriers shall undertake to increase services between 07.00 and 08.30 where necessary to meet the demand for travel. In the case of cargo transport, carriers shall give priority to perishable and urgently needed products such as daily newspapers and medicines on services from Gran Canaria and Tenerife.

Where aircraft with more than 72 seats are used, the minimum frequency may be reduced to 70 % of the number of daily return flights laid down, while maintaining the minimum number of seats laid down in the relevant paragraphs.

(a)

Between Gran Canaria and Tenerife Norte

From 1 January to 30 June and from 1 October to 31 December, the minimum frequency shall be fourteen (14) return flights daily.

From 1 July to 30 September, the minimum frequency shall be twelve (12) return flights daily

Timetables must be such as to permit both legs of a return journey to be made on the same day with eight hours' stay at the destination, with flights spread out over the period from 07.00 to 22.30 and tailored to meet demand early in the morning and late at night.

The minimum capacity available in each direction shall be as follows:

during the IATA winter season: 295 000 seats;

during the IATA summer season: 393 000 seats.

(b)

Between Gran Canaria and Tenerife Sur

Services shall be provided throughout the year.

The minimum frequency shall be two (2) return flights daily, for which air carriers may use a type of aircraft suited to the demand but which shall have not fewer than 19 seats.

The minimum capacity available in each direction shall be as follows:

during the IATA winter season: 19 000 seats;

during the IATA summer season: 38 000 seats.

(c)

Between Gran Canaria and Lanzarote

From 1 January to 30 June and from 1 October to 31 December, the minimum frequency shall be eleven (11) return flights daily.

From 1 July to 30 September, the minimum frequency shall be fourteen (14) return flights daily.

Timetables must be such as to permit both legs of a return journey to be made on the same day with eight hours' stay at the destination, with flights spread out over the period from 07.00 to 22.30 and tailored to meet demand early in the morning and late at night.

The minimum capacity available in each direction shall be as follows:

during the IATA winter season: 240 000 seats;

during the IATA summer season: 378 000 seats.

(d)

Between Tenerife Norte and Lanzarote

From 1 January to 30 June and from 1 October to 31 December, the minimum frequency shall be five (5) return flights daily.

From 1 July to 30 September, the minimum frequency shall be seven (7) return flights daily.

Timetables must be such as to permit both legs of a return journey to be made on the same day with eight hours' stay at the destination, with flights spread out over the period from 07.00 to 22.30 and tailored to meet demand early in the morning and late at night.

The minimum capacity available in each direction shall be as follows:

during the IATA winter season: 108 000 seats;

during the IATA summer season: 180 000 seats.

(e)

Between Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura

From 1 January to 30 June and from 1 October to 31 December, the minimum frequency shall be thirteen (13) return flights daily.

From 1 July to 30 September, the minimum frequency shall be fourteen (14) return flights daily.

Timetables must be such as to permit both legs of a return journey to be made on the same day with eight hours' stay at the destination, with flights spread out over the period from 07.00 to 22.30 and tailored to meet demand early in the morning and late at night.

The minimum capacity available in each direction shall be as follows:

during the IATA winter season: 274 000 seats;

during the IATA summer season: 402 000 seats.

(f)

Between Gran Canaria and El Hierro

From 1 January to 30 June and from 1 October to 31 December, the minimum frequency shall be one (1) return flight daily.

From 1 July to 30 September, the minimum frequency shall be two (2) return flights daily.

Air carriers may use a type of aircraft suited to the demand during each season but which shall have not fewer than 19 seats.

Where aircraft with a capacity of more than 19 seats are used during the period July to September, the minimum frequency may be reduced to 50 % of the number of return flights laid down, while maintaining the minimum number of seats laid down.

The minimum capacity available in each direction shall be as follows:

during the IATA winter season: 6 000 seats;

during the IATA summer season: 16 000 seats.

(g)

Between Gran Canaria and La Palma

From 1 January to 30 June and from 1 October to 31 December, the minimum frequency shall be two (2) return flights daily, one in the morning and one in the evening.

From 1 July to 30 September, the minimum frequency shall be three (3) return flights daily.

Timetables must be such as to permit both legs of a return journey to be made on the same day with seven hours' stay at the destination between 07.00 and 20.00, with morning and evening services.

The minimum capacity available in each direction shall be as follows:

during the IATA winter season: 43 000 seats;

during the IATA summer season: 74 000 seats.

(h)

Between Tenerife Norte and Fuerteventura

From 1 January to 30 June and from 1 October to 31 December, the minimum frequency shall be three (3) return flights daily.

From 1 July to 30 September, the minimum frequency shall be six (6) return flights daily.

Timetables must be such as to permit both legs of a return journey to be made on the same day with seven hours' stay at the destination between 07.00 and 20.00, with morning, midday and evening services.

The minimum capacity available in each direction shall be as follows:

during the IATA winter season: 65 000 seats;

during the IATA summer season: 132 000 seats:

(i)

Between Tenerife Norte and El Hierro

From 1 January to 30 June and from 1 October to 31 December, the minimum frequency shall be three (3) return flights daily.

From 1 July to 30 September, the minimum frequency shall be four (4) return flights daily.

Timetables must be such as to permit both legs of a return journey to be made on the same day with seven hours' stay at the destination between 07.00 and 20.00, with morning, midday and evening services.

The minimum capacity available in each direction shall be as follows:

during the IATA winter season: 60 000 seats;

during the IATA summer season: 100 000 seats.

(j)

Between Tenerife Norte and La Palma

From 1 January to 30 June and from 1 October to 31 December, the minimum frequency shall be thirteen (13) return flights daily.

From 1 July to 30 September, the minimum frequency shall be fourteen (14) return flights daily.

Timetables must be such as to permit both legs of a return journey to be made on the same day with eight hours' stay at the destination, with flights spread out over the period from 07.00 to 22.30 and tailored to meet demand early in the morning and late at night.

The minimum capacity available in each direction shall be as follows:

during the IATA winter season: 274 000 seats;

during the IATA summer season: 402 000 seats.

(k)

Between La Palma and Lanzarote

During July, August and September, the minimum frequency shall be three (3) return flights weekly.

The minimum capacity available in each direction shall be 6 800 seats.

(l)

Between Gran Canaria and La Gomera

The minimum frequency shall two (2) return flights daily throughout the year.

Air carriers may use a type of aircraft suited to the demand during each season but which shall have not fewer than 19 seats.

The minimum capacity available in each direction shall be as follows:

during the IATA winter season: 11 000 seats;

during the IATA summer season: 16 000 seats.

(m)

Between Tenerife Norte and La Gomera

The minimum frequency shall two (2) return flights daily throughout the year.

Air carriers may use a type of aircraft suited to the demand during each season but which shall have not fewer than 19 seats.

The minimum capacity available in each direction shall be as follows:

during the IATA winter season: 11 000 seats;

during the IATA summer season: 16 000 seats.

2.

Fares

2.1.

Under the public service obligations laid down, the reference single fare for each of the routes shall be as follows:

(a)

:

Gran Canaria — Tenerife Norte:

:

EUR 52

(b)

:

Gran Canaria — Tenerife Sur:

:

EUR 52

(c)

:

Gran Canaria — Fuerteventura:

:

EUR 60

(d)

:

Gran Canaria — El Hierro:

:

EUR 88

(e)

:

Gran Canaria — Lanzarote:

:

EUR 67

(f)

:

Gran Canaria — La Palma:

:

EUR 82

(g)

:

Tenerife Norte — Fuerteventura:

:

EUR 83

(h)

:

Tenerife Norte — El Hierro:

:

EUR 60

(i)

:

Tenerife Norte — Lanzarote:

:

EUR 88

(j)

:

Tenerife Norte — La Palma:

:

EUR 55

(k)

:

La Palma — Lanzarote:

:

EUR 88

(l)

:

Gran Canaria — La Gomera:

:

EUR 82

(m)

:

Tenerife Norte — La Gomera:

:

EUR 60

2.2

The Directorate-General for Civil Aviation shall approve the adjustment of the above reference fares in January each year.

Where such adjustment involves an increase in those fares, this shall be approved at the request of the air carriers operating the routes subject to public service obligations, following registration in accordance with paragraph 2.4 of this section.

Fares shall be adjusted by an amount to reflect the effects of applying the corresponding annual increase or, where appropriate, decrease in the national consumer price index [Índice General Nacional del Sistema de Índices de Precios al Consumo] to the costs directly affected by any such annual fluctuation, which are estimated at 73 % of the total cost structure of an air carrier.

With regard to all aviation taxes, comprising landing charges, airport approach charges and charges for use of the air navigation aids network, account shall be taken of the increases or, where appropriate, decreases authorised for each of these charges for the year in question in the Budget Act [Ley de Presupuestos Generales del Estado] or its implementing rules, which shall be applied to the reference fares, with up to 4 % of the cost structure being weighted by these increases for each of the above three charges.

The proposal to increase fares referred to in the second paragraph, which must under no circumstances be submitted before 1 January each year, shall be considered to have been approved if no decision has been expressly notified within 15 days of submission. The calculation shall be without prejudice to any adjustments necessary following the final determination of the change in the national consumer price index.

In the event of an increase in the cost components affecting the operation of these air services which is abnormal, unforeseeable and not attributable to the carriers, and acting on a proposal from the air carriers, the Minister for Internal Development [Ministro de Fomento] may adjust the reference fares in proportion to that increase, based on the overall year-on-year increase.

The adjusted fare shall be notified to the carriers operating the services concerned. It shall also be communicated to the European Commission for publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

2.3.

In setting flexible, promotional and social fares, air carriers shall meet the conditions and follow the procedures set out below:

(a)

The 75 % occupancy rate laid down in paragraph 5 of Section II may be exceeded provided that the price of the promotional and social fares applied to any such supplementary offer is at least 15 % less than the reference fare.

(b)

Air carriers may apply to the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation to be allowed to set flexible fares provided these do not exceed the following percentages of the reference fare. During 2006, these may not exceed 20 % and from 2007 25 %. In any case, the number of seats occupied on each flight at these tariffs shall not exceed 50 % of the seats offered.

(c)

Air carriers shall be required to set social fares which are lower than the reference fare for at least the following categories of passenger: persons under 22 years of age, university students under 27 years of age resident on islands other than capital islands, persons aged 65 or over and teams competing in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands. The discounts applied shall not be less than 10 % of the reference fare. In the case of reductions for large families, the relevant legislation shall apply. The conditions applicable to such reductions laid down by the carrier shall in all cases be similar to those applied to the promotional fares.

(d)

In order to facilitate the mobility of residents of the Canary Islands, where there are no direct, non-stop flights between two islands in different provinces, carriers shall offer on those routes fares that do not exceed 60 % of the sum of the reference fares for each of the individual legs making up the flight, rounded up or down to the nearest unit. Under no circumstances shall such fares exceed the reference fare for a direct flight between Lanzarote and La Palma.

(e)

The number of seats offered at flexible tariffs by each carrier shall be restricted by the average revenue per passenger calculated by annual period for each of the routes operated by each carrier, which shall be no more than the reference fare laid down for the route, weighted for the period of application. Carriers shall provide the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation with the information necessary to allow it to carry out the relevant checks.

(f)

The Directorate-General for Civil Aviation shall guarantee the confidentiality of the data received. Should the average revenue per passenger carried by a carrier on a particular route exceed the reference fare, the carrier shall compensate passengers during the subsequent annual period by an amount equal to the total sum deriving from the difference between the average revenue per passenger and the reference fare, weighted for the total number of passengers carried. Should that compensation not be paid, Article 45.3.1a of the Air Safety Act (Law No 21/2003) of 7 July 2003) shall apply to the carrier. The annual period referred to above shall run from the date the carrier begins operations in accordance with the conditions laid down in this Decision.

2.4.

Air carriers shall be required to register their reference, flexible and social fares and, where appropriate, their fares for large families with the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation no later than 30 calendar days before the planned date of their entry into force. These fares shall be considered to have been approved if the Directorate-General for Civil Aviation has not delivered an opinion on them by 15 calendar days before their planned entry into force. Fares shall enter into force once approved and the Government of the Canary islands shall be so notified.

The promotional fares referred to in paragraph 2.3(a) may be notified for registration up to 48 hours before their entry into force and shall be deemed to have been approved unless notification to the contrary is given.

Approval of fares shall be limited to checking that they comply with the price levels and the public service obligations laid down.

2.5.

The reductions laid down by the relevant legislation for citizens of Spain, the other Member States of the European Union, the States of the European Economic Area and Switzerland resident in the Canary Islands shall apply to fares on scheduled air services on the routes referred to in Section I of this Annex.

2.6.

The conditions for the accreditation of residents and payments made to air carriers in respect of the rebates which have been granted must be in conformity with rules governing this type of public aid.

2.7.

Continuity of service. Except in cases of force majeure, the number of flights cancelled for reasons directly attributable to the carrier may not exceed, for each IATA scheduling season, 1,5 % of the scheduled flights. Except in cases of force majeure, delays may not exceed 15 minutes for 90 % of the flights.

In the event of the suspension of services in exceptional circumstances, air carriers operating services subject to these public service obligations shall, in cooperation with the Committee provided for in Part Three of this Decision, take all necessary steps to re-establish the service as quickly as possible.

2.8.

Marketing of flights. Seats and services shall be marketed via distribution channels which take account of the characteristics of the services and the need to ensure appropriate information for users at the lowest possible cost.