Denver International Airport Air Service Incentive Program

Goal: To increase nonstop scheduled air service and passenger traffic at Denver International Airport (DEN), and to sustain this service over the long-term.

  • Promotional benefits offered to any air carrier announcing qualifying scheduled passenger service between Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2022
  • Total incentive funds available are limited and may expire at any time during this period
  • DEN Air Service Incentive Program is subject to change at any time

Promotional Period

The Promotional Period is defined as the first consecutive 12 or 24 months immediately following the initiation of eligible new service.

Qualifying Criteria

  • Carrier must offer daily nonstop scheduled passenger service from DEN to the eligible market; if service is less than daily, the incentive benefit will be prorated as detailed in the table.  All incentives are prorated on an annual basis
  • The 12-month Promotional Period applies to international markets served nonstop from DEN as of Jan. 1, 2022 and to New Entrant domestic carriers which intend to serve domestic markets served nonstop from DEN as of Jan. 1, 2022
  • The 24-month Promotional Period applies to international markets not served nonstop from DEN as of Jan. 1, 2022 and to New Entrant domestic carriers which intend to solely serve domestic markets not served nonstop from DEN as of Jan. 1, 2022
  • Markets that are not served nonstop from DEN on Jan. 1, 2022 but which are scheduled to be served in 2022 (per publicly available airline schedule data) are considered served.  If at any time in the year the service is removed from the schedules the market will be considered unserved
  • Carriers do not qualify for the DEN Air Service Incentive Program for a route suspended for any period through Dec. 31, 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Charter operations, including operators under Parts 121, 135 and 380, are not eligible
  • All conditions for receiving the benefits will be documented in a legal agreement between the City and County of Denver (City) and the qualifying carrier; this legal agreement is subject to final approval by the appropriate officials at the City
  • If the carrier does not meet the minimum service level (defined below) for a period of 12 or 24 consecutive months immediately following the initiation of the route then all amounts paid by the City for marketing activities shall be refunded to the City, and all refunds credited to the carrier shall be refunded to the City

Promotional Incentive

The Promotional Incentive includes an Operational Incentive and a Marketing Incentive; incentive amounts are outlined in the table.  In all cases, the carrier has the option to apply 100% of the incentive to operational credits; or 100% of the incentive to marketing; or a combination of operational credits and marketing.

Operational Incentive:

  • The Operational Incentive is administered by the City, through its Department of Aviation (DEN)
  • Operational Incentives are administered through credits
  • Operational Incentives available to carriers may include, but are not limited to landing fees, rental fees or gate fees
  • The credits will not exceed the airline’s cost to operate the incentivized route at DEN

Marketing Incentive:

  • The Marketing Incentive is administered by the City, through DEN
  • The carrier will develop a marketing plan that will be approved by the Department of Aviation Project Manager assigned to administer the contract
  • The marketing plan will promote public and industry awareness of the new service offered by the carrier at DEN and will promote travel to/from/through DEN
  • The carrier is responsible for executing the marketing plan, including making all payments to vendors.  DEN will reimburse the carrier for approved expenses related to executing the approved marketing plan
  • An initial draft of the marketing plan must be submitted to the Department of Aviation Project Manager within 60 business days of airline’s notification to DEN that the carrier intends to take the marketing incentive; if the carrier does not provide a draft marketing plan within 60 business days, the City reserves the right to end negotiations

Eligible Markets

Domestic:

  • A new domestic carrier (New Domestic Entrant) is eligible for an incentive
  • If the market to be served by the New Domestic Entrant is already served nonstop from DEN as of Jan. 1, 2022, the New Domestic Entrant incentive period is 12 months
  • If the market to be served by the New Domestic Entrant is not already served nonstop from DEN as of Jan. 1, 2022, the New Domestic Entrant incentive period is 24 months
  • In the case of a New Domestic Entrant beginning service to more than one market at the same time, if any of the new markets are already served nonstop from DEN the incentive period will be limited to 12 months
  • In the case of a New Domestic Entrant beginning service solely to markets unserved from DEN, the New Domestic Entrant incentive period is 24 months
  • A New Domestic Entrant is not eligible for an incentive if the market(s) served by the New Domestic Entrant are not deemed eligible as set out in the Qualifying Criteria

International:

  • All international markets are eligible including markets served nonstop from DEN as of Jan. 1, 2022
  • U.S. Territories are considered international markets in the DEN Air Service Incentive Program
  • If the new market is already served nonstop from DEN, the incentive period is 12 months
  • If the new market is not served nonstop from DEN, the incentive period is 24 months
  • In the case of a new international carrier (New International Entrant) beginning service to more than one market at the same time, if any of the new markets are already served nonstop from DEN the incentive period will be limited to 12 months
  • In the case of a New International Entrant beginning service to markets solely unserved from DEN, the incentive period is 24 months
  • The carrier adding new service must not have operated service to an airport in the same market area over the preceding 24-month period
  • To qualify for a frequency increase incentive:
    • the service must have operated for the immediately preceding 12-month period (to include seasonal service);
    • the frequency increase must be an increase of at least 50 percent over immediately preceding 12-month period; and
    • the additional frequency must operate for a minimum of 12 months (to include seasonal service)
  • A New International Entrant is not eligible for an incentive if the market(s) served by the New International Entrant are not deemed eligible as set out in the Qualifying Criteria

Minimum Service Level

The carrier may adjust the frequency of service during the term of the agreement; however, the carrier shall not decrease the frequency of service to less than fifty percent (50%) of the initial amount of initially published service, the calculation of which will be averaged over the course of 12-month periods.

Primary Carrier

  • The primary carrier is defined as the marketing carrier for the new service
  • Denver International Airport will enter into incentive agreements with only the primary carrier, except in cases where the primary carrier gives permission to enter into the agreement with the operating carrier

Notice of Intent to Enter into Incentive Agreement

A carrier eligible for an incentive must notify Denver International Airport within 60 days of service announcement of the intention to take advantage of the incentive. The carrier must begin service within 331 days of service announcement.

Signed Agreement Requirement

A carrier eligible for an incentive must sign the legal agreement within 60 days of receipt from the City.  If the carrier does not sign the legal agreement within 60 days, the City reserves the right to end negotiations.