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February 1, 2021

Airport slot waiver extended into summer by the UK

Britain has announced that it will extend a waiver on airport slot rules through the summer season to help airlines during the pandemic.

Britain has announced that it will extend a waiver on airport slot rules through the summer season to help airlines during the pandemic.

This will eliminate the need for carriers to fly in order to retain their takeoff and landing windows.

Last year, rules in connection with the takeoff and landing rights were suspended, which liberated airlines from the compulsory usage of 80% of their takeoff and landing spots, reported Reuters.

Failing to do so would have resulted in the loss of slots for their carriers.

In a statement, the Department for Transport said that the move ‘provided flexibility to airlines to support them during this difficult time’ and exhibited the prevailing low demand for air travel.

Many airlines are struggling fiscally due to Covid-19 restrictions in Britain.

While high-cost airlines such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have welcomed the extension, low-cost carriers wish to go back to normal rules.

Ryanair and Wizz Air stated that the suspension will not allow them to add new flights and, hence, they will fail in creating competition.

Earlier, Airport Coordination Limited (ACL), an independent slot co-ordination company, said that alleviation would be arranged in the UK for the Northern Summer 2021, subject to slots being resumed to three weeks or more in advance of the planned operation.

The company added that the new slots will not be included in the alleviation.

In December, an EU proposal was made to restore some slot competition in 2020.

Moreover, this is the UK’s first decision on airport slot rules since it left the European Union’s circle on 31 December 2020.

This move will also get rid of the necessity for ‘ghost flights’ as, before the introduction of the waiver, some airlines flew empty to protect their landing spots.

In a separate development, Urban-Air Port, a British-based start-up, has partnered with Hyundai Motor to develop the infrastructure needed for futuristic flying cars.

Urban-Air Port, which was selected by a government programme, has secured a $1.65m grant to aid the temporary installation of the airport in Coventry city centre.

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