Brussels asks to extend the flexibility of winter landing ‘slots’ for airlines

Brussels asks to extend the flexibility of winter landing 'slots' for airlines.image: Wikipedia

Brussels asks to extend the flexibility of winter landing ‘slots’ for European airlines.

The European Commission has asked to extend- until the winter season- the flexibility that allows reducing during the pandemic the number of flights that companies must operate at an airport to avoid losing their slots in consecutive seasons, a measure that was designed during the pandemic to avoid “ghost flights”.

Brussels is calling for a reduction from the usual 80% to 50% of the minimum number of frequencies required from an airline on certain routes in order to maintain its pre-crisis flight rights at each airport.

The temporary change in the rules proposed by the EU executive will still require the formal approval of the EU-27 and the European Parliament for it to become effective. The proposal was handed in today, Monday, July 26.

European regulations oblige airlines to operate at least 80% of their allocated slots for the season and failure to comply with this requirement normally means losing the right to slots in subsequent seasons.

This situation meant that in the early stages of the pandemic, airlines kept many flights that were considered as “ghost flights” – which were empty due to the confinement and border closure measures – operating them for fear of losing their future slots.

Brussels then amended the regulation temporarily to give airlines more flexibility and is now offering another revision for the winter season because it estimates that air traffic will continue to be affected compared to the capacity of pre-pandemic periods.


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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.


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