Council Regulation (EEC) No 2408/92 of 23 July 1992 on access for Community air carriers to intra-Community air routes
OJ L 240, 24.8.1992, p. 8–14 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT)
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COUNCIL REGULATION (EEC) No 2408/92 of 23 July 1992 on access for Community air carriers to intra-Community air routes
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, and in particular Article 84 (2) thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1) ,
Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament(2) ,
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee(3) ,
Whereas it is important to establish an air transport policy for the internal market over a period expiring on 31 December 1992 as provided for in Article 8a of the Treaty;
Whereas the internal market shall comprise an area without internal frontiers in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured;
Whereas Council Decision 87/602/EEC of 14 December 1987 on the sharing of passenger capacity between air carriers on scheduled air services between Member States and on access for air carriers to scheduled air service routes between Member States(4) and Council Regulation (EEC) No 2343/90 of 24 July 1990 on access for air carriers to scheduled intra-Community air service routes and on the sharing of passenger capacity between air carriers on scheduled air services between Member States(5) constitute the first steps towards achieving the internal market in respect of access for Community air carriers to schedules intra-Community air routes;
Whereas Regulation (EEC) No 2343/90 provides that the Council shall decide on the revision of that Regulation by 30 June 1992 at the latest;
Whereas in Regulation (EEC) No 2343/90 the Council decided to adopt rules governing route licensing for implementation not later than 1 July 1992;
Whereas in Regulation (EEC) No 2343/90 the Council decided to abolish capacity restrictions between Member States by 1 January 1993;
Whereas in Regulation (EEC) No 2343/90 the Council confirmed that cabotage traffic rights are an integral part of the internal market;
Whereas arrangements for greater cooperation over the use of Gibraltar airport were agreed in London on 2 December 1987 by the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom in a joint declaration by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries, and such arrangements have yet to come into operation;
Whereas the development of the air traffic system in the Greek islands and in the Atlantic islands comprising the autonomous region of the Azores is at present inadequate and for this reason airports situated on these islands should be temporarily exempted from the application of this Regulation;
Whereas it is necessary to abolish restrictions concerning multiple designation and fifth-freedom traffic rights and phase in cabotage rights in order to stimulate the development of the Community air transport sector and improve services for users;
Whereas it is necessary to make special provision, under limited circumstances, for public service obligations necessary for the maintenance of adequate air services to national regions;
Whereas it is necessary to make special provision for new air services between regional airports;
Whereas for air transport planning purposes it is necessary to give Member States the right to establish non-discriminatory rules for the distribution of air traffic between airports within the same airport system;
Whereas the exercise of traffic rights has to be consistent with operational rules relating to safety, protection of the environment and conditions concerning airport access and has to be treated without discrimination;
Whereas, taking into account problems of congestion or environmental problems, it is necessary to include the possibility of imposing certain limitations on the exercise of traffic rights;
Whereas, taking into account the competitive market situation, provision should be made to prevent unjustifiable economic effects on air carriers;
Whereas it is necessary to specify the duties of Member States and air carriers for the purposes of providing necessary information;
Whereas it is appropriate to ensure identical assessment and evaluation of market access for the same types of air services;
Whereas it is appropriate to deal with all matters of market access in the same Regulation;
Whereas this Regulation partially replaces Regulation (EEC) No 2343/90 and Council Regulation (EEC) No 294/91 of 4 February 1991 on the operation of air cargo services between Member States(6) ,
HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
1. This Regulation concerns access to routes within the Community for scheduled and non-scheduled air services.
2. The application of this Regulation to the airport of Gibraltar is understood to be without prejudice to the respective legal positions of the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom with regard to the dispute over sovereignty over the territory in which the airport is situated.
3. Application of the provisions of this Regulation to Gibraltar airport shall be suspended until the arrangements in the joint declaration made by the Foreign Ministers of the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom on 2 December 1987 have come into operation. The Governments of Spain and the United Kingdom will so inform the Council on that date.
4. Airports in the Greek islands and in the Altantic islands comprising the autonomous region of the Azores shall be exempted from the application of this Regulation until 30 June 1993. Unless otherwise decided by the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, this exemption shall apply for a further period of five years and may be continued for five years thereafter.
For the purposes of this Regulation:
(a) 'air carrier' means an air transport undertaking with a valid operating licence;
(b) 'Community air carrier' means an air carrier with a valid operating licence granted by a Member State in accordance with Council Regulation (EEC) No 2407/92 of 23 July 1992 of licensing of air carriers(7) ;
(c) 'air service' means a flight or a series of flights carrying passengers, cargo and/or mail for remuneration and/or hire;
(d) 'scheduled air service' means a series of flights possessing all the following characteristics:
(i) it is performed by aircraft for the transport of passengers, cargo and/or mail for remuneration, in such a manner that on each flight seats are available for individual purchase by members of the public (either directly from the air carrier of from its authorized agents);
(ii) it is operated so as to serve traffic between the same two or more airports, either:
1. according to a published timetable; or
2. with flights so regular or frequent that they constitute a recognizably systematic series;
(e) 'flight' means a departure from a specified airport towards a specified destination airport;
(f) 'traffic right' means the right of an air carrier to carry passengers, cargo and/or mail on an air service between tow Community airports;
(g) 'seat-only sales' means the sale of seats, without any other service bundled, such as accommodation, directly to the public by the air carrier or its authorized agent or a charterer;
(h) 'Member State(s) concerned' means the Member State(s) between or within which an air service is operated;
(i) 'Member State(s) involved' means the Member State(s) concerned and the Member State(s) where the air carrier(s) operating the air service is (are) licensed;
(j) 'State of registration' means the Member State in which the licence referred to in (b) is granted;
(k) 'airport' means any area in a Member State which is open for commercial air transport operations;
(l) 'regional airport' means any airport other than one listed in Annex I as a category 1 airport;
(m) 'airport system' means two or more airports grouped together as serving the same city or conurbation, as indicated in Annex II;
(n) 'capacity' means the number of seats offered to the general public on a scheduled air service over a given period;
(o) 'public service obligation' means any obligation imposed upon an air carrier to take, in respect of any route which it is licensed to operate by a Member State, all necessary measures to ensure the provision of a service satisfying fixed standards of continuity, regularity, capacity and pricing, which standards the air carrier would not assume if it were solely considering its commercial interest.
1. Subject to this Regulation, Community air carriers shall be permitted by the Member State(s) concerned to exercise traffic rights on routes within the Community.
2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, before 1 April 1997 a Member State shall not be required to authorize cabotage traffic rights within its territory by Community air carriers licensed by another Member State, unless:
(i) the traffic rights are exercised on a service which constitutes and is scheduled as an extension of a service from, or as a preliminary of a service to, the State or registration of the carrier;
(ii) the air carrier does not use, for the cabotage service, more than 50 % of its seasonal capacity on the same service of which the cabotage service constitutes the extension or the preliminary.
3. An air carrier operating cabotage services in accordance with paragraph 2 shall furnish on request to the Member State(s) involved all information necessary for the implementation of the provisions of that paragraph.
4. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, before 1 April 1997 a Member State may, without discrimination on grounds of nationality of ownership and air carrier identity, whether incumbent or applicant on the routes concerned, regulate access to routes within its territory for air carriers licensed by it in accordance with Regulation (EEC) No 2407/92 while otherwise not prejudging Community law and, in particular, competition rules.
1. (a) A Member State, following consultations with the other Member States concerned and after having informed the Commission and air carriers operating on the route, may impose a public service obligation in respect of scheduled air services to an airport serving a peripheral or development region in its territory or on a thin route to any regional airport in its territory, any such route being considered vital for the economic development of the region in which the airport is located, to the extent necessary to ensure on that route the adequate provision of scheduled air services satisfying fixed standards of continuity, regularity, capacity and pricing, which standards air carriers would not assume if they were solely considering their commercial interest. The Commission shall publish the existence of this public service obligation in the Official Journal of the European Communities.
(b) The adequacy of scheduled air services shall be assessed by the Member States having regard to:
(i) the public interest;
(ii) the possibility, in particular for island regions, of having recourse to other forms of transport and the ability of such forms to meet the transport needs under consideration;
(iii) the air fares and conditions which can be quoted to users;
(iv) the combined effect of all air carriers operating or intending to operate on the route.
(c) In instances where other forms of transport cannot ensure an adequate and uninterrupted service, the Member States concerned may include in the public service obligation the requirement that any air carrier intending to operate the route gives a guarantee that it will operate the route for a certain period, to be specified, in accordance with the other terms of the public service obligation.
(d) If no air carrier has commenced or is about the commence scheduled air services on a route in accordance with the public service obligation which has been imposed on that route, then the Member State may limit access to that route to only one air carrier for a period of up to three years, after which the situation shall be reviewed. The right to operate such services shall be offered by public tender either singly or for a group of such routes to any Community air carrier entitled to operate such air services. The invitation to tender shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities and the deadline for submission of tenders not be earlier than one month after the day of publication. The submissions made by air carriers shall forthwith be communicated to the other Member States concerned and to the Commission.
(e) The invitation to tender and subsequent contract shall cover, inter alia, the following points:
(i) the standards required by the public service obligation;
(ii) rules concerning amendment and termination of the contract, in particular to take account of unforeseeable changes;
(iii) the period of validity of the contract;
(iv) penalties in the event of failure to comply with the contract.
(f) The selection among the submissions shall be made as soon as possible taking into consideration the adequacy of the service, including the prices and conditions which can be quoted to users, and the cost of the compensation required from the Member State(s) concerned, if any.
(g) Notwithstanding subparagraph (f), a period of two months shall elapse after the deadline for submission of tenders before any selection is made, in order to permit other Member States to submit comments.
(h) A Member State may reimburse an air carrier, which has been selected under subparagraph (f), for satisfying standards required by a public service obligation imposed under this paragraph; such reimbursement shall take into account the costs and revenue generated by the service.
(i) Member States shall take the measures necessary to ensure that any decision taken under this Article can be reviewed effectively and, in particular, as soon as possible on the grounds that such decisions have infringed Community law or national rules implementing that law.
(j) When a public service obligation has been imposed in accordance with subparagraphs (a) and (c) then air carriers shall be able to offer seat-only sales only if the air service in question meets all the requirements of the public service obligation. Consequently that air service shall be considered as a scheduled air service.
(k) Subparagraph (d) shall not apply in any case in which another Member State concerned proposes a satisfactory alternative means of fulfilling the same public service obligation.
2. Paragraph 1 (d) shall not apply to routes where other forms of transport can ensure an adequate and uninterrupted service when the capacity offered exceeds 30 000 seats per year.
3. At the request of a Member State which considers that the development of a route is being unduly restricted by the terms of paragraph 1, or on its own initiative, the Commission shall carry out an investigation and within two months of receipt of the request shall take a decision on the basis of all relevant factors on whether paragraph 1 shall continue to apply in respect of the route concerned.
4. The Commission shall communicate its decision to the Council and to the Member States. Any Member State may refer the Commission's decision to the Council within a time limit of one month. The Council, acting by a qualified majority, may take a different decision within a period of one month.
On domestic routes for which at the time of entry into force of this Regulation an exclusive concession has been granted by law or contract, and where other forms of transport cannot ensure an adequate and uninterrupted service, such a concession may continue until its expiry date or for three years, whichever deadline comes first.
1. Notwithstanding Article 3, a Member State may, where one of the air carriers licensed by it has started to operate a scheduled passenger air service with aircraft of no more than 80 seats on a new route between regional airports where the capacity does not exceed 30 000 seats per year, refuse a scheduled air service by another air carrier for a period of two years, unless it is operated with aircraft of not more than 80 seats, or it is operated in such a way that not more than 80 seats are available for sale between the two airports in question on each flight.
2. Article 4 (3) and (4) shall apply in relation to paragraph 1 of this Article.
In operating air services, a Community air carrier shall be permitted by the Member State(s) concerned to combine air services and use the same flight number.
1. This Regulation shall not affect a Member State's right to regulate without discrimination on grounds of nationality or identity of the air carrier, the distribution of traffic between the airports within an airport system.
2. The exercise of traffic rights shall be subject to published Community, national, regional or local operational rules relating to safety, the protection of the environment and the allocation of slots.
3. At the request of a Member State or on its own initiative the Commision shall examine the application of paragraphs 1 and 2 and, within one month of receipt of a request and after consulting the Committee referred to in Article 11, decide whether the Member State may continue to apply the measure. The Commission shall communicate its decision to the Council and to the Member States.
4. Any Member State may refer the Commission's decision to the Council within a time limit of one month. The Council, acting by a qualified majority, may in exceptional circumstances take a different decision within a period of one month.
5. When a Member State decides to constitute a new airport system or modify an existing one it shall inform the other Member States and the Commission. After having verified that the airports are grouped together as serving the same city or conurbation the Commission shall publish a revised Annex II in the Official Journal of the European Communities.
1. When serious congestion and/or environmental problems exist the Member State responsible may, subject to this Article, impose conditions on, limit or refuse the exercise of traffic rights, in particular when other modes of transport can provide satisfactory levels of service.
2. Action taken by a Member State in accordance with paragraph 1 shall:
- be non-discriminatory on grounds of nationality or identity of air carriers,
- have a limited period of validity, not exceeding three years, after which it shall be reviewed,
- not unduly affect the objectives of this Regulation,
- not unduly distort competition between air carriers,
- not be more restrictive than necessary in order to relieve the problems.
3. When a Member State considers that action under paragraph 1 is necessary it shall, at least three months before the entry into force of the action, inform the other Member States and the Commission, providing adequate justification for the action. The action may be implemented unless within one month or receipt of the information a Member State concerned contests the action or the Commission, in accordance with paragraph 4, takes it up for further examination.
4. At the request of a Member State or on its own initiative the Commission shall examine action referred to in paragraph 1. When the Commission, within one month of having been informed under paragraph 3, takes the action up for examination it shall at the same time indicate whether the action may be implemented, wholly or partially, during the examination taking into account in particular the possibility of irreversible effects. After consulting the Committee referred to in Article 11 the Commission shall, one month after having received all necessary information, decide whether the action is appropriate and in conformity with this Regulation and not in any other way contrary to Community law. The Commission shall communicate its decision to the Council and the Member States. Pending such decision the Commission may decide on interim measures including the suspension, in whole or in part, of the action, taking into account in particular the possibility of irreversible effects.
5. Notwithstanding paragraphs 3 and 4, a Member State may take the necessary action to deal with sudden problems of short duration provided that such action is consistent with paragraph 2. The Commission and the Member State(s) shall be informed without delay of such action with its adequate justification. If the problems necessitating such action continue to exist for more than 14 days the Member State shall inform the Commission and the other Member States accordingly and may, with the agreement of the Commission, prolong the action for further periods of up to 14 days. At the request of the Member State(s) involved or on its own initiative the Commission may suspend this action if it does not meet the requirements of paragraphs 1 and 2 or is otherwise contrary to Community law.
6. Any Member State may refer the Commission's decision under paragraph 4 or 5 to the Council within a time limit of one month. The Council, acting by a qualified majority, may in exceptional circumstances take a different decision within a period of one month.
7. When a decision taken by a Member State in accordance with this Article limits the activity of a Community air carrier on an intra-Community route, the same conditions or limitation shall apply to all Community air carriers on the same route. When the decision involves the refusal of new or additional services, the same treatment shall be given to all requests by Community air carriers for new or additional services on that route.
8. Without prejudice to Article 8 (1) and except with the agreement of the Member State(s) involved, a Member State shall not authorize an air carrier:
(a) to establish a new service, or
(b) to increase the frequency of an existing service,
between a specific airport in its territory and another Member State for such time as an air carrier licensed by that other Member State is not permitted, on the basis of slot-allocation rules as provided for in Article 8 (2), to establish a new service or to increase frequencies on an existing service to the airport in question, pending the adoption by the Council and the coming into force of a Regulation on a code of conduct on slot allocation based on the general principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality.
1. Capacity limitations shall not apply to air services covered by this Regulation except as set out in Articles 8 and 9 and in this Article.
2. Where the application of paragraph 1 has led to serious financial damage for the scheduled air carrier(s) licensed by a Member State, the Commission shall carry out a review at the request of that Member State and, on the basis of all relevant factors, including the market situation and in particular whether a situation exists whereby the opportunities of air carriers of that Member State to effectively compete in the market are unduly affected, the financial posistion of the air carrier(s) concerned and the capacity utilization achieved, shall take a decision on whether the capacity for scheduled air services to and from that State should be stabilized for a limited period.
3. The Commission shall communicate its decision to the Council and to the Member States. Any Member State may refer the Commission's decision to the Council within a time limit of one month. The Council, acting by a qualified majority, may in exceptional circumstances take a different decision within a period of one month.
1. The Commission shall be assisted by an Advisory Committee composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.
2. The Committee shall advise the Commission on the application of Articles 9 and 10.
3. Furthermore, the Committee may be consulted by the Commission on any other question concerning the application of this Regulation.
4. The Committee shall draw up its rules of procedure.
1. In order to carry out its duties under this Regulation the Commission may obtain all necessary information from the Member States concerned, which shall also ensure the provision of information by air carriers licensed by them.
2. When the information requested is not supplied within the time limit fixed by the Commission, or is supplied in incomplete form, the Commission shall by decision addressed to the Member State concerned require the information to be applied. The decision shall specify what information is required and fix an appropriate time limit whithin which it is to be supplied.
The Commission shall publish a report on the application of this Regulation by 1 April 1994 and periodically thereafter.
1. Member States and the Commission shall cooperate in implementing this Regulation.
2. Confidential information obtained in application of this Regulation shall be covered by professional secrecy.
Regulation (EEC) No 2343/90 and 294/91 are hereby replaced with the exceptions of Article 2 (e) (ii) and of Annex I to Regulation (EEC) No 2343/90, as interpreted by Annex II to this Regulation, and Article 2 (b) of and the Annex to Regulation (EEC) No 294/91.
This Regulation shall enter into force on 1 January 1993.
This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Brussels, 23 July 1992
For the Council The President J. COPE
(1) OJ No C 258, 4. 10. 1991, p. 2.
(2) OJ No C 125, 18. 5. 1992, p. 146.
(3) OJ No C 169, 6. 7. 1992, p. 15.
(4) OJ No L 374, 31. 12. 1987, p. 19.
(5) OJ No L 217, 11. 8. 1990, p. 8.
(6) OJ No L 36, 8. 2. 1991, p. 1.
(7) See page 1 of this Official Journal.
List of category 1 airports BELGIUM:Brussels-Zaventem
DENMARK:Copenhagen airport system
Berlin airport system
FRANCE:Paris airport system
ITALY:Rome airport system
Milan airport system
UNITED KINGDOM:London airport system
List of airport systems DENMARK: Copenhagen-Kastrup/Roskilde
FRANCE: Paris-Charles De Gaulle/Orly/Le Bourget
Milan-Linate/Malpensa/Bergamo (Orio al Serio)
UNITED KINGDOM: London-Heathrow/Gatwick/Stansted
Interpretation referred to in Article 15 Under the terms of Annex I to Regulation (EEC) No 2343/90 the air carrier Scanair, which is structured and organized exactly as Scandinavian Airlines System, is to be considered in the same way as the air carrier Scandinavian Airlines System.