Suspension of the 80/20 rule governing airline slots
Priority question for written answer P-001459/2020
to the Commission
François-Xavier Bellamy (PPE), Brice Hortefeux (PPE)
Under Article 10 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 95/93 of 18 January 1993, airlines are subject to the 80/20 rule, which is also known as the ‘use it or lose it’ rule. Under this rule, airlines must use at least 80% of their take-off and landing slots at European airports or face losing them to a competitor the following year.
However, the coronavirus crisis has resulted in a considerable drop in the number of European flight bookings made. The effect of this has been quite incredible, with airlines operating empty or almost empty flights for the sole reason that they do not lose their allocated slots. This is disastrous for both the economy and the environment. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that the airline sector could suffer losses of between USD 63 and 113 billion depending on the spread of the virus.
The 80/20 rule has been suspended on a number of previous occasions, including after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, following the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak and during the 2003 war in Iraq and the 2009 financial crisis.
How does the Commission intend to ensure that EU legislation does not lead to ‘ghost’ flights? When will it suspend this 80/20 rule on account of the coronavirus epidemic?