European Commission agrees to suspend ‘use it or lose it’ rule.
The European Commission has relaxed airport landing rules after there was public outrage that carriers were flying empty planes, thus increasing carbon emissions, in order to keep their airport slots.
Earlier this week, Secret Flying reported how several European-based airlines were operating empty “ghost flights” amid the slump in travel demand to ensure they do not lose their valuable airport slots.
The EU Slot Regulation (EEC 95/93) requires airlines to operate 80% of allocated slots, or face losing them to a competitor.
Now the EU has pledged to ease the burden on airlines by temporarily suspending the rule.
The European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “The coronavirus outbreak has a major impact on the European and international aviation industry. We see that the situation is deteriorating on a daily basis, and traffic is expected to decline further. And this is why the commission will put forward very rapidly legislation regarding the so-called airport slots.”
“We want to make it easier for airlines to keep their airport slot, even if they do not operate flights in those slots, because of the declining traffic.”