Airport slot usage. The new waiver extension

On 14 October 2020, the Commission extended the waiver for airlines from their airport slot usage obligations under the European rules.

The extension follows the one adopted on 10 March 2020, and will be in force until 27 March 2021. More particularly, while under normal circumstances airlines have to use 80% of the slots allocated to them to secure this allocation in future seasons (so-called “use it or lose it” rule), with the new measures they can plan their flight schedules with more certainty without fear of losing their slots because of the drastic reduction in flights caused by the coronavirus. The recent pandemic, indeed, had a considerable impact on the sector as a whole, and an air traffic levels’ recovery in the near future is rather dubious.

Despite following the new rules for the winter season will remain on a purely voluntary basis, the wish is for the airlines to abide by the agreed measures as much as possible, in order to release the pressure on the whole aviation industry and decreaseemissions by avoiding airlines flying almost empty aircrafts (so-called “ghost flights”).

Marco Stillo