30 Mar, 2020

Swift EU response to end “ghost flights”

The European Parliament adopted on 26 March an urgency measure that puts an end to so-called “ghost flights” due to COVID-19.

According to the rules on the allocation of slots at EU airports, air carriers must use at least 80% of their allocated slots in order to keep precedence in respect of the same series of slots for the next year. Due to the current unusual circumstances caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, this has led to airlines running “ghost flights”.

The Renew Europe Group welcomes this step, which will allow us to temporarily alleviate airlines from their slot usage obligations under EU law without losing their rights. By doing so, the EU is able to provide more certainty for air companies, whilst preventing an unnecessary adverse impact on the environment.

Rapporteur Dominique Riquet commented ahead of the vote:

"This urgent measure puts an end to an ecologically and economically absurd situation. It will provide air companies with the necessary flexibility and certainty to gradually re-establish their service based on demand. Besides, passengers will benefit from more predictability regarding air schedule and services."

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