“Airlines are in crisis. The collapse in demand is unprecedented. And airlines are struggling to match capacity to the fast-changing situation. The Commission’s decision to suspend slot use rules until June means that airlines can make these critical decisions immediately—without worrying about the impact on future availability of slots. This is much needed and most welcome. However, given all the uncertainties, it is disappointing that the decision does not cover the full season,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe.
The Commission’s decision will benefit airlines, airports and passengers in numerous ways including;
- Allowing airlines to plan schedules and redeploy aircraft and crew to where demand is highest
- Improve economic and environmental sustainability by ensuring that flights for which there is no demand can be cancelled
- Enable airlines more flexibility to plan for the recovery phase and re-introduce capacity where and when needed
- Ensure that the industry can return to normal as quickly as possible once the crisis is over
Airlines have been among the hardest-hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. IATA estimates that airline revenues could fall by $113 billion (19%) if the virus is not contained (this estimate was made before the announcement of the restrictions to travelers inbound to the United States from the Schengen area). And the aviation industry will be crucial for the global economy to recover as quickly as possible once COVID-19 is brought under control.
“Airlines are implementing emergency measures under severe cashflow conditions. Along with relaxing slot rules, governments must also consider other forms of emergency relief,” said Schvartzman.
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Notes for editors:
- IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 290 airlines comprising 82% of global air traffic.
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