MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Commission plans to extend the airport slot waiver until late March as the air travel industry is not expected to make a recovery anytime soon amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Transport Commissioner Adina Valean said on Monday.
Airline slot waiver envisions a suspension of the rule that requires airlines to use at least 80 percent of their airport slots or vacate them. the International Air Transport Association first urged aviation regulators to introduce the slot waiver in March, and has been calling to extend it until next year. Earlier in September, airlines, airports and slot coordinators have agreed to keep the suspension in force for the upcoming winter season.
"To address the need for certainty and responding to traffic data, I intend to extend the slot waiver for the 2020/2021 winter season, until 27 March 2021," Valean said, as quoted in the commission’s press release.
The official also praised the air travel industry stakeholders for agreeing on the waiver’s extension and said that the move helped many airlines avoid financial losses and "ghost flights."
Valean also said that the air traffic remains low in the European Union and is not likely to recover this year.