ACI EUROPE has expressed concerns surrounding the adoption this week of the European Commission's proposal to amend the slots regulation, thus allowing airlines to keep their rights over airport slots, even though they might not
be using them.
The European airports' body says that the proposal 'has caught the European airport industry by surprise and raises significant concerns'.ACI said: ‘Europe's airports are mindful of the fact that their fate is intrinsically linked to that of their airline customers. However, this proposal essentially favours incumbent airlines and prevents competitors from gaining access to congested airports. As this measure actively incentivises airlines to further cut capacity, without freeing corresponding slots, it would only worsen the impact of the crisis on airports and prevent them from planning and using their capacity in the most efficient way.’
But Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE was even more severe in his comments: ‘We knew some airlines had requested this, but we are really appalled that no proper consultation with all industry stakeholders has taken place on what is a very sensitive issue with far-reaching consequences.’
He added ‘Apart from competitive aspects, this proposed suspension of the use-it-or-lose-it rule for airport slots exposes regional airports to a potential decrease in services to European hubs. It also genuinely risks affecting passengers, due to late cancellations of flights for purely commercial reasons.’