European Commission plans moratorium on ‘use it or lose it’ slot rule

[Ref Flight International Magazine 17-23 Mar 2020]

The European Commission are set to release airlines from slot-use obligations to ease pressure on carriers as they cut capacity to cope with coronavirus outbreak effects.

Transport commissioner Adina Valean says the measures will allow airlines to adjust capacity to match demand.

The Commission adds that It also decreases emissions by avoiding so-called ‘ghost flights’ where airlines fly almost empty aircraft to keep their slots.

Under the current slot regulations airlines must use any allocated slot at least 80% of the time or face having to surrender it.

But with the coronavirus outbreak cutting into demand, putting pressure on carriers to cut capacity, airlines are having to operate uneconomical flights simply to avoid giving up valuable slots.

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