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Latest update June 2020


Please see the download section on the top right hand corner of this page to read the overview of this section and scroll down the page to read the latest updates on ERA's activities and position.


Latest update 23 June 2020: In a letter sent to DG MOVE and also to the EU transport ministers on 23 June, co-signed by ERA, airlines are advocating for continuation of slot use alleviation for the full length (25 October 2020 to 27 March 2021) of the upcoming northern winter 2020/21 season (NW20) at all slot-co-ordinated airports and schedule-facilitated airports. Airlines are already in the middle of the planning period for the NW20 season; without certainty of the slot waiver being in place  planning cannot be optimised. The Worldwide Airport Slot Guidelines (WASG) requires all slot series to be handed back before the Series Return Deadline of 15 August. This is an important deadline in the NW20 season aviation planning process and can only be of use if airlines have certainty of a slot waiver.

June 2020:  The fact-finding study that was commissioned for the European Commission with the aim of assessing market developments since 2011 and the functioning of the Slot Regulation 93/95, has reached its final stage. Therefore, during a videoconference organised by DG MOVE, consultancy Steer presented the main findings of the study to participants representing numerous EU member states and industry stakeholders.

It was shared that many of the problem drivers identified in 2011 are still valid but a couple of new issues emerged during the consultation process run in 2019:

  1. Slot co-ordinators’ decisions being appealed before national courts, with the risk of incurring the associated costs potentially influencing the impartiality of their decision making.
  2. Lack of clear rules on airports’ capacity declarations.
  3. Use of multiple operating licences or joint operations to benefit from the new entrant rule, limiting competition.
  4. Slots being treated as an asset by airlines and appearing on their balance sheets.
  5. Bankruptcies not always resulting in a straightforward and timely reallocation of slots, potentially wasting available capacity.

Upon demonstrating the old and new key problem drivers, following issues were highlighted in more detail: underutilisation of slot resources, slot mobility (that continues to be limited), limited impact of the new entrant rule, airport capacity declaration, late handback of slots (not sufficiently discouraged) and misuse of slots.

March 2020: In light of the current COVID-19 crisis and following strong industry pressure, including ERA advocacy and support, the European Commission has put forward a regulation that granted an exemption for airlines from the 80/20 slot rule in a fast-track approval by the Council and the Parliament. Regulation 2020/459 adopted on 30 March allows co-ordinators to consider slots allocated for the period from 1 March 2020 until 24 October 2020 as having been operated by the air carrier to which they had initially been allocated (non-utilisation therefore will not lead to air carriers losing the historical precedence).

18/09/2019: An analysis carried out in 2010-11 on the functioning of the Slot Regulation showed that the slot allocation system required improvements, however, the resulting recast process launched by the Commission failed to reach consensus on the way forward. As a result, nine years later, the slot allocation regime remains unchanged, whereas air transport is continuously evolving. This year, DG MOVE has commissioned a study to assess the current slot allocation regime and to explore future options for evolving the regime. As part of this study, ERA is participating in the ongoing stakeholder consultation.  


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