INFORMATION FOR THE BENEFICIARIES:
CONDITIONS FOR AIRLINES TO BENEFIT FROM A FINANCIAL START-UP
CONTRIBUTION FOR IMPORTANT PROGRAMMES WHICH IMPROVE THE
PROMOTION AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF OSTEND-BRUGES
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (CATEGORY D)
1. CONDITIONS AND PURPOSE OF THE START-UP CONTRIBUTION
The 17 December 2003 Ministerial Order fixing airport fees for Ostend-Bruges International
Airport defines the applicable fees:
■ Article 2: fee for each landing and each take-off;
■ Article 3: training cards;
■ Article 4: crew training landing fee;
■ Article 5: parking of aviation vehicles;
■ Article 6: fee for collective parking;
■ Article 7: fee for the use of installations and services for passengers;
■ Article 8: fee for fuel on board.
By virtue of Article 14, § 1 of this Ministerial Order, the Managing Director/CEO is autho-
rised to grant reductions.
The provisions of these Regulations are defined on the basis of Article 14, §1 of the
aforementioned Ministerial Order and aim at determining the conditions under which airlines
can claim additional reductions that benefit the promotion and development of Ostend-Bruges
A start-up contribution for airline activities from Ostend-Bruges International Airport may
only be granted based on the Communication from the Commission “Community Guidelines
on financing of airports and start-up aid to airlines departing from a regional airport as
home base” (O.J.E.U., C 312/1, of 09/12/2005).
Only airlines holding a valid operating licence granted by a Member State according to
regulations (EC) no. 1008/2008 of 31 October 2008 on licensing of air carriers can apply for
such start-up contributions.
1.3. New routes
The start-up contribution can only be granted for the opening of new routes that increase the net
volume of passengers to and from Ostend-Bruges International Airport.
The mere substitution, during the start-up contribution period, of one route by another leaving
from the same airport and expected to generate at least an equivalent number of passengers, will
not call into question the continuation of payment of start-up contribution for the complete period,
as long as the other conditions, under which the contribution was initially granted, are still met.
The route receiving the contribution must ultimately prove profitable, i.e. it must at least cover its
costs, without public funding. For this reason, a start-up contribution must be degressive and of
limited duration. Moreover, it is linked to an actual increase in the number of transported
Consequently, the start-up contribution may be granted for a maximum period of 3 years. The
amount of the start-up contribution in any one year may not exceed 50 % of the total eligible costs
for that year and the total start-up contribution may not exceed an average of 30 % of eligible
Anyway, the period during which a start-up contribution is granted to an airline must be
substantially shorter than the period during which the airline undertakes to operate from the
airport in question, as indicated in the business plan mentioned under 1.6. Furthermore, the start-
up contribution should be adjusted or stopped once the objectives in terms of passengers have
been reached or when the route has proven to be profitable, even if this is achieved before the end
of the period initially foreseen.
1.5. Nature of the start-up contribution
There must be a close link between the amount of the start-up contribution and the costs incurred
for the start-up of a new route which the airline would not be able to cover when at cruising speed.
Such costs are real costs, incurred under normal market conditions, including marketing and
advertising costs that are to be made in the beginning to give publicity to the route, and
possibly the installation costs to be made by the airline at Ostend-Bruges International Airport
to start up the route, provided these costs have not yet been subsidised. No start-up
contribution can be granted for regular operating costs.
1.6. Business plan and analysis
Each airline that seeks to provide a service for which a start-up contribution can be allocated,
must present a business plan when submitting this bid to demonstrate the viability of the route
during a considerable period of time after the contribution has ended.
Prior to the allocation of the contribution, the airport will examine which impact the new route
may have on the competitive routes as well as the existing high speed train connections.
1.7. Prohibition of cumulation
The start-up contribution may not be combined with other types of contributions granted for the
operation of a route, such as contributions of a social nature granted to certain categories of
passengers or compensations for public services. In addition, such start-up contribution may not
be granted when access to a route has been reserved for a single carrier under article 16 of
Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008, in particular paragraph 9 of that article. Such start-up
contribution also may not be combined with another contribution granted to cover the same costs
(including contributions paid in another EU Member State).
1.8. Penalties and repayment
In case of non-compliance with the conditions, the airline will be declared in default after which it
will have three months to make sure it complies with the rule concerned or to dispute the
existence of a non-compliance.
If, further to a proper procedure, it is duly and undoubtedly proved and confirmed, that an airline
has not met its obligations, such airline must repay the contribution already received from Ostend-
Bruges International Airport, increased with a fixed penalty amounting to 0.5 % of the already
Each year, Ostend-Bruges International Airport draws up a report listing all supported routes.
The origin of the government contribution, the beneficiary, the contribution amount paid as
well as the number of passengers are mentioned for each route.
2. MODALITIES OF START-UP CONTRIBUTION
Subject to compliance with the conditions laid down before, an airline may be eligible for start -up
contribution which may be granted under the following modalities:
2.1. Start-up contribution for new destinations
2.1.1. With respect to the start-up contribution for new destinations, the fee to be paid by the
passenger can be reduced by granting start-up aid to cover the difference between:
Year 1: the paid passenger fee and an amount of 2 euros;
Year 2: the paid passenger fee and an amount of 4 euros;
Year 3: the paid passenger fee and an amount of 6 euros.
2.1.2. In addition, during the years 1, 2 and 3, the airline does not have to pay any landing fees,
take-off fees or parking fees for the additional flights.
2.1.3. In view of the purpose of the start-up contribution, airlines must use the contribution to
cover their marketing, start up and installation costs related to the new route, taking into
account the following limits:
Year 1: maximum coverage of 50 % of these costs;
Year 2: maximum coverage of 30 % of these costs;
Year 3: maximum coverage of 10 % of these costs.
2.1.4. As from the 4th year of operations onwards, the normal charges laid down in the Ministerial
Order of 17 December 2003 are again applicable.
3. COMPLAINTS AND DISPUTES
Complaints relating to these regulations and the agreements concluded in
implementation thereof can be addressed to the airport management, after which a
solution will be looked for in joint consultation. Only the Court of First Instance of
Bruges is authorised to take cognisance of the disputes relating to these regulations
and the agreements concluded in implementation thereof.
4. STAND-STILL PROVISION
Ostend-Bruges International Airport commits itself to only granting the support if the
aforementioned conditions and the conformity with the European regulations have
The Flemish Region, represented by its Government, by delegation, in the person of Mr. Gino
Vanspauwen, Managing Director/CEO of Ostend-Bruges International Airport
......................................(hereinafter called "the Airline")
the following is agreed:
1. The Airline has taken cognisance of the aforementioned Regulations concerning
the terms for being able to enjoy start-up contributions for start-up operations.
The Airline has presented its business plan, referred to in Article 1.6 of the
aforementioned Regulations, to the airport management.
This programme as well as the business plan shall be appended to this agreement.
2. The Airline accepts these Regulations.
Therefore, Ostend-Bruges International Airport agrees to allocate the
aforementioned contributions to the Airline.
3. These contributions shall apply to the following operations:
- New routes:
Drawn up in two copies in Ostend on...................
On behalf of the Flemish Region, represented by its Government, by delegation, in the person
of Mr. Gino Vanspauwen, Managing Director/CEO of Ostend-Bruges International Airport
On behalf of the Airline