MEPs to extend COVID-19 relief measures in transport sector 

To support the transport sector, Parliament is set to extend some exemptions for air slot distribution and certificate expiry dates, including for driving licences.

To stop airlines from operating empty flights during the pandemic (ghost flights), Parliament temporarily suspended the 'use it or lose it' rule in March 2020. That prevented airlines from using their planned take-off and landing slots only to keep them in the next season. This exemption ends on 27 March 2021.

MEPs will now vote on a plan on how to return to a normal application of the ‘use it or lose it’ rule. They secured an informal agreement with EU governments allowing airlines to use at least 50% of their planned take-off and landing slots for the 2021 summer and winter seasons (instead of the 80% required before the pandemic) so that they can keep them in the following seasons.

Parliament will also vote on a proposal to prolong, once again, the validity of certain certificates and licences as well as to postpone certain periodic checks and training that are normally required in the transport sector.

Procedure: ordinary legislative procedure, 1st reading

Procedure Code: 2020/0358(COD); 2021/0012(COD)

Vote: Wednesday 10 February, result Thursday, 11 February