Officials at the European Union are seeking to offer struggling airlines a lifeline by suspending rules forcing them to run almost empty planes in order to keep prized landing slots.
Under the EU airport regulations, carriers are subject to a ‘use it or lose it’ rule.
They are required to operate 80 per cent of the flights in an allocated slot, or face losing the automatic right to it in future seasons.
As airlines battle collapsing demand in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, has mooted suspending the rule.
The proposed measure will help both the European industry and the environment, she explained.
von der Leyen added: “It will release pressure on the whole aviation industry and in particular on smaller airline companies and also decrease emissions by avoiding so-called ‘ghost flights’ where airlines fly almost empty aircraft simply to keep their slots.”
The measure is expected to allow airlines to adjust their capacity in view of the falling demand caused by the outbreak.
“Given the urgency, the commission will in due course present a legislative proposal and calls on the European parliament and the council to swiftly adopt this measure in co-decision procedure,” von…