The European Commission has announced it will extend a waiver of the 80:20 ‘use it or lose it’ slot allocation rule until March next year.
The waiver conditions agreed between airlines, airports and slot coordinators earlier in September will be applied immediately on a voluntary basis, said European commissioner for transport, Adina Valean.
The decision affects the roughly 100 slot-constrained airports covered by regulatory oversight – which is around half of such facilities worldwide.
The move follows a vocal pro-waiver campaign from bodies including IATA and, in recent weeks, airports association ACI Europe.
Growing airlines, including Wizz Air, have, however, opposed the extension, branding it anti-competitive.
“Air traffic levels remain low, and more importantly, they are not likely to recover in the near future,” Valean stated.
“In this context, the lack of certainty over slots makes it difficult for airlines to plan their schedules, making planning difficult for airports and passengers.”
Valean cites, however, “certain problems with the current waiver,” which prevent efficient use of airport capacity.
The Commission is, therefore, consulting the public and stakeholders on how the industry will…