The airline industry has entered a period that has never been experienced before. The retraction in demand due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, travel restrictions, border closures, corporation travel bans, and economic decline have resulted in airlines being able to offer skeleton services, if at all. On this page you will find information, guidance and resources related to COVID-19, restart and airport slots.



Interview with Carsten Spohr on Airport Slots 

Lufthansa Group CEO (and recent IATA Chairman) Carsten Spohr gave an excellent summary of the vital need for slot use relief – either a full waiver or implementing the full recommendation of the World Airport Slots Board -  in a recent interview in the Eurocontrol ‘Straight Talk’ series


Aviation industry agrees on a global recommendation for airport slot relief in Winter 2021


Considering the continued lack of predictability, certainty or stability in the global aviation network, the Worldwide Airport Slot Board (WASB) is proposing a continuation of slot alleviation measures for the NW21 season (pdf). The three industry groups encourage Regulators worldwide to adopt this complete package in full, as quickly as possible, to support the industry’s planning.

COVID-19 and Global Suspension of Slot Rules

Northern Summer 2021

Please find below a continuously updated list of the status of slot use relief measures at level 3 airports for the Northern Summer 2021 season:
Level 3
- Slot coordinated airports: Northern Summer 2021 slot use relief status summary (pdf) 

Level 2 - Schedules facilitated airports: Norther Summer 2021 status (pdf)

Aviation Industry Agrees Vital Slot Use Relief for NS21

The Worldwide Airport Slot Board (WASB), comprising Airports Council International (ACI World), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the Worldwide Airport Coordinators Group (WWACG) released a joint recommendation for airport slot use relief for the northern summer 2021 season (pdf).

The WASB position recommends the following be adopted before the end of 2020:

  • Airlines that return a full series of slots by early February to be permitted to retain the right to operate them in summer 2022.
  • A lower operating threshold for retaining slots the following season. In normal industry conditions this is set at 80-20. The WASB recommends this be amended to 50-50 for Summer 2021.
  • A clear definition for acceptable non-use of a slot. For example, force majeure as a result of short-term border closures or quarantine measures imposed by governments.

Please also see the press release for more information. 

Airline associations (IATA & A4E) comments concerning the recent EU Commission proposal for Summer 2021 (pdf).

Northern Winter 2020/21

This Northern Winter 2020/21 season is going to be incredibly challenging for the aviation industry, IATA's press release and economic analysis highlight the difficulties the industry faces. The slot use waiver has been extended to the full Northern Winter 2020 season at all Level 3 airports, allowing airlines much needed flexibility in light of the continued government restrictions disabling travel. 


Please find below a continuously updated list of the status of alleviated level 3 and level 2 airports for the Northern Winter 2020/21 season:
Level 3
- Slot coordinated airports: Northern Winter 2020/21 slot usage alleviation summary (pdf) 

Level 2 - Schedules facilitated airports: Northern Winter 2020/21 status (pdf)

Worldwide Airport Slot Board (WASB) Recommendations

The Worldwide Airport Slot Board (WASB) has provided industry recommendations to ensure best practice approaches for slot coordination, airport capacity and slot allocation management throughout the crisis.  We strongly encourage all global slot coordinators, airports and airlines to adopt these to ensure consistent slot coordination and management.


Other COVID-19 resources on


Lara Maughan, IATA Head of Worldwide airport slots, on the need to suspend the slot usage rules.