|Author (Corporate)||Council of the European Union, European Parliament|
|Series Title||Official Journal of the European Union|
|Series Details||L 58, Pages 1-8|
|Content Type||Legislation, News, Policy-making|
Regulation (EU) 2021/250 - signed by the co-legislators on 16 February 2021 - introducing a number of amendments to Council Regulation (EEC) No 95/93 concerning the slot utilisation rules at airports of the European Union (EU) due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. This is a text with EEA relevance.
Regulation (EEC) No 95/93 - also known as the Slot Regulation - sets the rules on the allocation of slots at EU airports. Its Article 10 contains a 'use-it-or-lose-it' rule, whereby air carriers must use at least 80% of their allocated slots within a given scheduling period in order to keep precedence in respect of the same series of slots within the corresponding scheduling period of the next year (so-called 'grandfather rights').
The sanitary crisis created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in early 2020 had a serious impact on air carriers leading to a significant decline in air traffic worldwide. The decline in passenger demand led to air transport companies cancelling a number of flights, which would result in slot usage below the 80% threshold imposed by the Regulation. In March 2020, the EU adopted an amendment to the Slot Regulation to waive the ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ rule for the entire summer 2020 scheduling period, ending on 24 October 2020. That amendment also empowered the Commission to extend the period covered by the waiver. On 14 October 2020, the Commission adopted a delegated act extending the period waiving the ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ rule until the end of the winter 2020/2021 scheduling season on 27 March 2021.
The proposal grants the possibility to return 50% of slots before the start of the 2021 summer season, but airlines are required to use at least 50% of the remaining slots if they want to hold on to them. The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts for one year to cover the following two seasons. With such acts, the Commission may change the minimum utilisation rate to between 30% and 70% in order to respond flexibly to different air traffic levels.
This initiative was put forward by the European Commission on 16 December 2020. The European Parliament endorsed it on 10 February 2021, followed by the Council of the European Union on 15 February 2021. It was signed by the co-legislators on 16 February 2021 and published in the Official Journal on 19 February 2021.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry, Mobility and Transport|
|Subject Tags||Air Transport, Transport Infrastructure|
|Keywords||Air Services, COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|