The UK government has introduced legislation to extend the airports slot allocation waiver over the summer 2021 season, in support of the aviation industry through the summer season.
Pre-COVID, airlines had to operate flights at least 80% of the time in order to retain their slots. But the extended slot allocation waiver will help protect future connectivity and prevent airlines from operating high-cost carbon-inefficient ‘ghost flights’ in order to retain historic rights to slots. The waiver had to been due to expire in spring.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “I want to restart international travel as soon as it is safe and the slots waiver is a critical part of making that happen.” With airlines flying a smaller proportion of their usual schedules, he added “the waiver means carriers can reserve their finances, reduce the need for environmentally damaging ‘ghost flights’ and allow normal services to immediately restart when the pandemic allows.”
News on the extended slot allocation waivers also comes as the UK Prime Minister announced that the relaunched Global Travel Taskforce will deliver a report on 12 April outlining a framework to restart international travel, as wider restrictions are lifted over the coming months.