EU to suspend rules on slot “use…

EU to suspend rules on slot “use it or lose it” avoiding ‘ghost flights’ rule for 4 months – airlines want longer
2020-03-13 21:28:00
The European Commission has now said it will suspend for 4 months the rules on using airport slots, that have forced airlines to keep empty ‘ghost flights’ in the air, as a result of coronavirus cancellations.  It is now up to the European Parliament and Council to sign off on the proposal before the rules can be fully suspended – they meet next week.  The suspension will be considered to start on 1st March, lasting until 30 June.  It can also be extended if necessary. But the airlines want this extended to the end of October. So now airlines do not need to fly an empty plane, just to use that slot, without fear of losing lucrative airport slots in 2021. The current law stipulates that carriers have to use at least 80% of their allotted slots, or they are returned to a common pot for the next calendar year. As well as saving the airlines effort and cost, it will avoid unnecessary carbon emissions. The proposal also back dates the rules to 23 January 2020 from China-bound flights, as that was the first date when Beijing started to close air routes. Airlines are losing money, as passengers stay away. BA said it is likely they will lose a number of jobs, “perhaps for a short period, perhaps longer term.” .Tweet   Coronavirus: EU to suspend ‘ghost flights’ rule for 4 months By Sam Morgan | EURACTIV.com 13.3.2020 The European Commission revealed on Friday (13 March) its plan to suspend for four months rules that have forced airlines to keep empty ‘ghost flights’ in the air, as a result of coronavirus cancellations. But carriers want their obligations put on ice until the end of October. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen followed through on her Tuesday pledge to put a moratorium on the so-called ‘use it or lose it rules’, so airlines can stop operating ‘ghost flights’ without fear of losing lucrative airport slots in 2021. The current law stipulates that carriers have to use at least 80% of their allotted berths or they are returned to a common pot for the next calendar year. Today’s proposal aims to put that requirement on ice. “This temporary measure will help both our aviation industry and the environment,” the Commission president said. “The shock is temporary but we must all work together to make it as short and temporary as possible,” von der Leyen said during a press conference on the wider impact of the coronavirus impact. Under the EU executive’s plan, the rules will be suspended until 30 June and the hiatus will be back

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