The Marshal’s Office of the Lubuskie Voivodeship is to pay LOT Polish Airlines nearly PLN 13 million for “promotion of the region”. The purpose of the contract with the national carrier is to maintain the connection on the Zielona Góra – Warsaw route in 2024. This is not the only marshal’s office that decides to promote the region in this way. Recently, the tender was announced by the Marshal’s Office of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, which has already concluded contracts with Wizz Air and PLL LOT. Among other things, it is required to place advertising in the form of an inscription and graphics promoting the region on the fuselage of two of the carrier’s planes.
In 2024, the Marshal’s Office of the Lubuskie Voivodeship will once again subsidize air connections between Zielona Góra and Warsaw. They won the tender organized by the office again LOT Polish Airlines. The national carrier is to offer 12 flights (6 rotations) a week on this route.
– The reason for announcing the tender was the need to maintain the air connection on the IEG-WAW-IEG route, which results from the need to ensure communication accessibility of the Lubuskie Voivodeship with the capital – emphasizes Paweł Kozłowski, acting Director of the Management Board’s Office and at the same time press spokesman for the Lubuskie Voivodeship Management Board.
As he points out, Warsaw Chopin Airport “has an international character, with the possibility of traveling on the so-called one ticket through Warsaw – in a short period of time.” In his opinion, the advantage of the Zielona Góra – Warsaw connection “is primarily the duration of the cruise (approx. 1 hour), which affects the comfort of the trip and the interest of passengers in this destination, and consequently – the constantly growing demand.”
The data provided to us shows that the average plane load in individual months exceeds even 70%.
The only regular connection
In the tender of the Marshal’s Office of the Lubuskie Voivodeship, one offer was received – submitted by the national carrier LOT. – The value of the signed contract is PLN 12,990,000.00 (6 rotations a week) – says Kozłowski to the tvn24.pl business editorial team.
Interestingly, flights from and to Warsaw are currently the only regular connection available at the airport in Zielona Góra. Therefore, we asked the Marshal’s Office of the Lubuskie Voivodeship whether the lack of a new agreement with PLL LOT would result in the Zielona Góra-Babimost airport suspending its operations.
– Zielona Góra-Babimost Airport could probably continue to operate based on a network of non-scheduled connections, e.g. charter connections, but it is primarily the scheduled connections that ensure the operational continuity of airports and consolidate the position of a given airport in the network of communication airports in Poland – points out the spokesman of the Voivodeship Board. Lubuskie.
It is not impossible that the local government will soon announce further tenders for the promotion of the region in airlines. – In addition to Warsaw, we would like the route network in 2024 to include the following connections: EgyptTunisia, AlbaniaTürkiye, Gdańsk – informs Paweł Kozłowski.
Millions to promote the region
The Marshal’s Office of the Lubuskie Voivodeship allocated a total of PLN 40.4 million to the promotion of the region in 2018-2022. As we read, these are all agreements regarding the promotion of the region with various contractors. The highest amount in the above period was spent in 2022, it was over PLN 12.1 million.
According to the information, contracts were also concluded with such contractors as: Itaka Sp. z o. o., Coral Travel Sp. z o. o. (previously also with Sprintair). – For example, the agreement with Nowa Itaka Sp. z o. o., concluded on December 7, 2022 (connections to/from Egyptian Taba), 8 holiday and tourist stays (between December 21, 2022 and February 15, 2023), amounted to PLN 1,230,000.00 PLN – indicates the spokesman.
Advertisement on the fuselage of the plane
This is not the only marshal’s office that decides to promote the region among airlines by organizing connections from local airports. At the beginning of December this year. a tender for the promotion of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship in airlines has started. The ordering party is the Marshal’s Office.
“The subject of the order is the promotion of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship in the airlines of the carrier, which provides no less than 5 destinations a week from and to Bydgoszcz, while maintaining a minimum average of 15 rotations a week per year,” we read in the description.
The airline is to promote the region, among others: on their websites, in social media, and also post “promotional materials in foreign local/regional media in the carrier’s destination areas from and to Bydgoszcz”. Additionally, it is required to place advertising on the fuselage of two of the carrier’s aircraft in the form of an inscription and graphics promoting the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship throughout the duration of the contract. The agreement is to be valid until December 15, 2027.
– Due to the increased interest in air travel after the pandemic, the voivodeship wants to use the resulting promotional potential and attract tourists and potential investors to the regions – explains Edyta Macieja-Morzuch, director of the Promotion Department at the Marshal’s Office of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, to the tvn24.pl business editorial team .
What will Ryanair do?
The flight network for the 2023/2024 winter season available on the Bydgoszcz airport website shows that Ryanair offers 5 flight connections. This is exactly the minimum number of destinations required. Meanwhile, a few days ago, the industry portal Fly4free pointed out that Bydgoszcz remains an airport where Ryanair has not yet announced its route network for next year’s summer season.
Therefore, we asked the Marshal’s Office of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship whether the local government’s goal is to sign an agreement with Ryanair. Macieja-Morzuch does not deny this. – To achieve the desired effect, it is necessary to promote ourselves with airlines that offer as many connections to our voivodeship as possible; there is no point in promoting ourselves with airlines that do not offer flights to our region – he replies.
We have also sent questions to Ryanair on this matter. By the time the article was published, we had not received a response.
Offers in the tender can be submitted until January 2, 2024, 10:00 a.m. It is not yet known whether the Irish airline has submitted an offer.
– The deadline for submitting offers is January 2, 2024, until the deadline for opening offers, the Ordering Party cannot review the content of the submitted offers or reveal whose offers were received during the procedure – emphasizes the director of the Promotion Department at the Marshal’s Office of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship.
The Marshal’s Office of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship currently has an agreement with Wizz Air and LOT Polish Airlines.
“Promotion of the region” in airlines and EU regulations
Edyta Macieja-Morzuch emphasizes that signing contracts with airlines to promote the voivodeship does not violate EU regulations. – The Ordering Party places an order for a specific promotional service, it is the same promotional service as, for example, placing an advertisement in the media, purchasing a space on a billboard or promoting the voivodeship during various types of events – explains the director of the Promotion Department at the Marshal’s Office of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship.
Macieja-Morzuch points out that “the voivodeship has repeatedly awarded orders to promote itself in airlines, and the terms of individual contracts each time depended on the promotional effect that was to be achieved.”
According to the press spokesman of the Lubuskie Voivodeship Board, “due to the fact that in the so-called freezer there is a draft regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure on co-financing the public service obligation of the managing public use airport and the air carrier, there is no other option than organizing air connections as part of the so-called promotion and implementation of various types of marketing tasks by Contractors.
Main photo source: EddieCloud/Shutterstock