EU member states have reached an agreement regarding the waiver from slot-use requirements at EU airports amid the continuing fallout from Covid.

The deal foresees temporary measures in reaction mainly to the pandemic and its aftermath and to air travel impacts of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

This summer saw a significant return of passenger demand, but airports and airlines were not able to completely reboot capacity at the required speed.

The upward trend is expected to continue, although it will stay below pre-Covid levels for the coming months.

Slot relief at 75 per cent

The EU agreed that a general slot relief at 75 per cent would still apply during the winter season, which lasts until 25 March 2023.

Airlines  prohibited from flying into European airspace will lose their slots immediately.

The new regulation will apply to the coming winter season and until the end of the summer season of next year, for which the standard 80 per cent slot utilisation rule will apply.

Next steps

The European Council is expected to adopt the legislative act on 17 October 2022.

Jaroslav Zajíček, Czech Deputy Permanent Representative, said: “Air traffic is returning to the pre-pandemic volumes.

“This new regulation aims to ensure a gradual return to normality in line with this trend.

“It will provide more certainty to airports and air carriers, improve connectivity across Europe and will make air travellers’ lives easier.”
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