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EU waives airport slots use rule till October

The European Union has agreed to suspend the airport slot use rules for the whole of the summer season. Around 43 per cent of all passengers depart from over 200 slot coordinated airports worldwide.

Previously, the rules for slot allocation meant that airlines had to operate at least 80 per cent of their allocated slots under normal circumstances. Failure to comply with that meant the airline loses its right to the slot in the next equivalent season.

The European Commission had previously only suspended the 80-20 “use it or lose it” rule for airport slots until June 2020. This has now been expanded to cover the whole of the summer season which lasts until the end of October.

Rafael Schvartzman, Regional Vice President, Europe, IATA said, “The suspension of the 80-20 rule will enable airlines to plan their schedules with maximum flexibility during this time of great uncertainty. And it gives airlines and airports the certainty that the routes and network they have invested in will be valid next summer, protecting vital connectivity and preparing the way for recovery. We know that many regulators around the world have also suspended the slot use rule for this period. We hope that this decision from the EU will encourage any remaining regulators who have not yet done so to align with this important move. It’s critical all airlines and airports are able to benefit from the alleviation equally.”

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