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Published on Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Airlines welcome extension of 'use it or lose it' waiver


Airlines have welcome the EU's decision to extend the airport slot waiver until next march, which they say will allow airports to make better use of their capacity over the winter.

The waiver means that airlines won't lose their slots if they don't use them, as usually happens when an airline suspends a route.

In a statement, the European Regions Airlines Association said: "It is hoped that this agreement will allow for greater planning for not only airlines, but airports and co-ordinators, allowing them to maximise the use of capacity at a critical time and promote the recovery of air connectivity whilst still preventing anti-competitive behaviours.

"Additionally, this will allow for specific cargo needs to be addressed, ensuring that cargo operators can leverage additional short-term capacity."

ERA Director General Montserrat Barriga added: "We are very happy to see the European Commission has listened to our industry's concerns and will be ensuring the 'use-it-or-lose-it' rule is not applied during the 2020/2021 European winter season.

"Air traffic is resuming slowly, but latest forecasts show it is not expected to have returned to pre-crisis levels until at least 2024 and there is still a lot of uncertainty in regards to how the pandemic will develop.

"These facts cannot be overlooked and brought the urgent need for the slot waiver to be extended. This agreement will therefore play a key role in supporting European aviation in its recovery."


By Linsey McNeill, Editor (UK)

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