Airlines and airports in Europe have reached a monumental agreement that would extend slot waiver for the upcoming winter season. While the European Commission (EC) has to approve the deal, involved parties hope that the agreement will force the EC to make a swift decision.

Airport Council International (ACI) Europe, Airlines for Europe (A4E), Airlines International Representation in Europe (AIRE), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the European Association of Slot Coordinators (EUACA) all agreed on specific conditions to make sure the European Commission agrees to them in a swift manner.

“Decisions must be made now to enable the timely return of slots for the winter season once the waiver is granted. This will give airports and airlines certainty in planning their schedules and operations and ensure that passengers know what to expect in the tough months ahead,” stated Director General of ACI Europe Olivier Jankovec.

The specific conditions include the fact that the waiver should apply to slots held on August 31, 2020, and would not be eligible for slots granted in the previous winter season. If an airline failed to utilize any of its landing rights at a given airport in Winter 2020, the slot waiver would not apply and the company would be forced to hand back slots immediately.

“Only a full-season slots waiver will ensure that the flying of empty planes is avoided and enable flights to be operated in the most sustainable way possible,” added IATA’s vice president of Europe Rafael Schvartzman.

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