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EU waives 'use it or lose it' slot rules for airlines

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EU waives 'use it or lose it' slot rules for airlines

Frankfurt Airport - Photo Africaspotter

(BRUSSELS) - The EU gave the green light Monday to suspend until 24 October airport slot requirements which oblige airlines to use at least 80% of their take-off and landing slots, in order to keep them the following year.

The waiver adopted by the EU Council today is designed to help air carriers cope with the drastic drop in air traffic caused by the Coronavirus crisis.

"It seems clear now that this crisis will not be over very soon," said Croatia's Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic, for the EU presidency: "Waiving the 'use it or lose it' rule until October will help mitigate the heavy economic impact on airlines and give them certainty over the whole summer season."

The waiver will apply from 1 March to 24 October 2020. It will also apply retroactively from 23 January to 29 February 2020 for flights between the EU and China or Hong Kong. The start date of 23 January 2020 is when the first airport was closed by the authorities in China.

If the current serious situation persists, the measure can be extended quickly by means of a Commission delegated act. The European Commission says it will monitor the situation and report back on it by 15 September.

Introducing the slot waiver required an amendment to the EU slots regulation.

The Council's vote on the amendment was taken by means of a written procedure, which was concluded today. The European Parliament voted on 26 March. Both institutions negotiated and processed the proposal as a matter of urgency.

The amending regulation is due to be published in the EU Official Journal on 31 March 2020.

Regulation amending the regulation on common rules for the allocation of slots at Community airports - full text

Regulation 95/93 on common rules for the allocation of slots at Community airports

Slots (background information)


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