EU – IATA Winter 2021 Season Slot Utilisation Target
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an unprecedented decrease in Passenger demand and flying across the world. This had huge implications on airline’s networks, fleet, staff and many other tangible and intangible assets. The latter included slots at Level 3 Coordinated Airports. In order to ease the burden of meeting the 80/20 slot utilisation target, the Regulators across the globe have either completely suspended the 80/20 rule or reduced the utilisation target. In the EU, the utilisation target for IATA Winter 2021 Season must be set forth, no later than July 31st 2021.
The utilisation target set forth by the European Commission will greatly determine the shape of networks of Air Carriers in the IATA Winter 2021 Season.
Current regulatory process
The utilisation target is to be set forth by the means of a Delegated Act no later than July 31st. The Delegated Act will be based on the data published by Eurocontrol on traffic levels and traffic forecasts, the evolution of air traffic trends and indicators relating to demand for passenger and cargo transport, including trends regarding fleet size, fleet utilization and load factors. The Commission has also collected data from selected airlines. On top of that IATA has provided the Regulators with set of evidence supporting the industry stakeholders’ position.
WASB (Worldwide Airport Slot Board) has already agreed on a joint proposal, which shall be lobbied for at the global level.
The European Slot Regulation 2021/250 in its current wording:
- Does not foresee the return of the full slot series at any stage of the Coordination Process;
- Foresees adoption of a Delegated Act, which would determine the slot utilisation target.
Given that the return of full series in Winter 2021 Season will not be possible, AIRE, together with other airline associations (A4E, ERA and IATA), has sent a letter to DG-CLIMA, DG-COMP, DG-GROW and DG-MOVE requesting the adoption of the lowest utilisation threshold foreseen by the 2021/250 Regulation i.e. 30/70. Members are also kindly requested to reach out to their respective Governing Bodies and seek their support at the European level.