Sustainable Transport in the Barents Region project
   
  About WP 1 Regional aviation

 

Regional aviation across the borders is the most weakly developed mode of transport in the Barents region. The few existing cross-border flight connections are on the verge of closing down, which would be detrimental to regional integration including social and business contacts. Existing cross-border flights are

 

  • Luleå-Murmansk
  • Luleå-Tromsö

For revitalising the regional flight services a determined collaboration between the stakeholders in the regional aviation must be launched.

STBR, phase 1, studied the demand and commercial feasibility of cross-border air transport in the Barents region. Current difficulties were identified to stem from uncertain services resulting in low passenger volumes. STBR II intends to take a practical step forward and use a real case of a regional air service between either of

  • Sweden-Finland-Russia/Murmansk or
  • Luleå-Tromsö.

The objectives are to identify obstacles to opening of regular flights and to find ways for establishing the service on a permanent basis. A working group between aviation administrators, airport officials, flight operators and tourism agencies is created, which will explore the following:

  1. How to secure flight connections across the borders, particularly to and from Russia?

  2. How to eliminate administrative and regulatory obstacles?

As a last activity, a program of marketing measures, particularly among travel agencies, will be launched.

   
  WP contact
 
 

Tuomo Palokangas
Council of Oulu region

   
  WP Steering Group
 
 
  • Tuomo Palokangas, Council of Oulu Region
  • Kallax Luleå Airport
  • Martti Miettinen, Beata Secretariat
  • Martti Oinas, Finavia North/Rovaniemi Airport
  • Pekka Mäntynen, Finavia/Oulu Airport
  • Vitali Halikov, Regional Aviation Administration, North-West district
  • Timo Rautajoki, Barents Euro-Arctic Chamber of Commerce
  • Marko Mäenpää, STBR II Secretariat
 

 

 Updated: 6/25/2007


 
 

Aviation - Subprojects for WP 1

 

One subproject for WP1 has been launched - "Marketing support for regional aviation in the Barents region; A practical case of opening an air route between the Nordic Countries and Russia".

Contractor:  Ramboll Finland Oy
                        JOB Media & reklambyrå AB

   
  Subproject # 1
 
 

Marketing support for regional aviation in the Barents Region; A practical case of opening an air route between the Nordic Countries and Russia

 

Project period
Marketing support project:  August 2006 – March 2007.
Practical marketing measures:  Start early on in the project and run up to the end of 2007. 


Description

Regional aviation is the most weakly developed mode of transport in the Barents Region. Nevertheless, it could possibly become the most important mode for cross-border passenger travel due to Region’s rapidly increasing economic activity and long distances. At present, the few existing cross-border flight connections are commercially weak. If they will fail, it would be detrimental to regional integration including social and business contacts. For revitalising the scheduled flight connections, including taxi and chartered flights, a determined effort and an intensified collaboration between the stakeholders in the regional aviation must be established.


STBR I studied the demand and commercial feasibility of cross-border air transport in the Barents region. The three at that time existing scheduled flight connections were studied, Tromsø-Murmansk, Luleå-Rovaniemi-Murmansk and Luleå-Tromsø. Current difficulties were identified to stem from uncertain services, which have resulted in low passenger volumes. Lacking marketing and not so convenient booking procedures are also believed to add to this problem. Only one of the existing routes Tromsø-Murmansk has had sufficient volumes of passengers that ensure the route’s long-term viability.

 

STBR II intends to take a practical step forward and use the route Sweden-Finland-Russia (Murmansk) as a case. Nordkalottflyg has opened the route again in June 2006, at first between Luleå-Murmansk. Earlier the route was operated by Archangelsk Air AVL (current Aeroflot North).

 

The Project will identify and analyse a variety of smaller and larger measures that comprise typically those that can be considered to help improve the route’s commercial viability and increase the number of passengers, such as marketing, schedule harmonising with major airlines, involvement of tourism operators, improved ground support, and in some cases also subsidies from national governments including discounts on airport fees.

 

In addition to the specific Luleå-Oulu/Rovaniemi-Murmansk line, a broader effort to improve the visibility and availability of other forms of regional air services (charters and taxis) will be studied. The measures include marketing, but also other supporting functions like flight booking procedures that should be developed so as to meet today’s market demands – for example, the consumers have to be able to trust that the most convenient and economic route choice and service will be suggested to them when they are making queries concerning flights to/from Barents destinations.

 

A working group between aviation administrators, airport officials, flight operators and tourism agencies will be created. Together with this group efforts will be made to eliminate also administrative and regulatory obstacles that may exist in the Nordic Countries and more particularly those that affect the flights to/from Northwest Russia.


Strategic objective

Ensure and improve cross-border flight services in the Region, which means both scheduled flights and chartered/taxi flights.

 

Project objectives

Identify commercial obstacles of regional aviation, such as low passenger volumes and availability, and to find ways for shoring up the current services on a more permanent basis.

 

Project’s scope

  • Updating the previous market analysis/transport demand estimations and the route Sweden-Finland-Russia (Murmansk). I.e. demand estimation, based on interviewing selected key stakeholders.

  •  Setting up a support program of marketing measures for the regional aviation, more particularly for the cross-border route Luleå - Oulu/Rovaniemi - Murmansk.

  •  Identifying and planning other support functions to shore up regional aviation in the Barents Region.

Expected outcome

  • The testing of a practical case of opening an air route in the Barents Region increases the understanding of the necessary measures that ensure and improve regional flight services.  

  • Marketing measures that support the growth of passenger flows over time. 

  • Other supporting measures that improve the wider and easier availability of flight services.  

  • A collaborative framework that assists in the elimination of institutional and legal obstacles between the countries on a continuous basis.

 

Optional Project

The second stage of the Project will be considered mainly based on the project’s results. The follow-up stage is envisaged to comprise the implementation of the marketing plan and/or other support functions resulting from the first stage of the project. The decision of launching the second stage will be taken when the results are available.

 

The first actual marketing activity should start as early as possible, preferably right at the start of this project. The optional project may also include short term marketing measures for the cross-border route Sweden-Russia – provided that such viable ideas are presented in the work programme. These would have to be measures that could be launched with little or no delay even at the very start of the project. This would be to support the build-up of passenger flows instantly and in that way help secure the continuity of the service.