As Reuters has reported, the EU has already started discussions on gradually lifting the airport slot freeze policy introduced at the beginning of the pandemic.
When the crisis hit, what had always been known as a “use-it-or-lose-it” rule was temporarily waved to aid airlines that could no longer use the required 80% of their slots.
The upcoming suspension of the recent game changes is beneficial to low-cost carriers, such as EasyJet and Ryanair, which have been waiting for the opportunity to acquire unused airport slots.
Michael O’Leary, CEO ar Ryanair, expressed his dissatisfaction with new slot rules early in December: “The legacy carriers are going to try to get slot extensions so that they can squat on their slots, and constrain growth and keep prices high.”
IATA, an aviation body that represents airlines worldwide, suggests airlines are allowed to use 50% of their slots while returning the rest. As for the EU, it says a requirement to use 40% of slots should be in place.