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.
NORTHERN WINTER 2021: 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 Winter 2021
Please find below a continuously updated list of the status of slot use relief measures at level 3 airports for the Northern Winter 2021 season:
Level 2 - Schedules facilitated airports: Northern Winter 2021 status (pdf)
The WASB recommendation for Northern Winter 2021 slot relief (pdf) is a package of measures designed to enable recovery while recognizing the prolonged impact the crisis is having on the ability for airlines to utilize their slots. In summary it requests governments to adopt a slot relief package of measures outlined below:
- Alleviation from normal use requirements for full slot series returned to the slot coordinator in early September, allowing airlines to retain the right to these historic slots for Winter 2022 while providing a pool of ad hoc capacity for reallocation and airport planning needs;
- A lower slot use threshold of 50% for those slots held and planned for use in winter 2021;
- A requirement to cancel slots no longer planned for use during the season at least four weeks prior to operation;
- A clear definition of what is acceptable non-use of a slot. For example, force majeure as a result of short-term border closures or quarantine measures imposed by governments.
- Slot series operated in winter 2021 on a non-historic basis should have priority over new demand for the same timings in northern winter 2022, subject to capacity availability.
Slot Relief in the European Union Winter 2021
- Why early granting of slot relief enables airlines to prioritise an environmentally sustainable flying schedule (pdf)
- Willie Walsh, IATA Director General comments on potential EU approach: EU Commission Blindness on Slot Rules Risks Environmental and Financial Lunacy
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)
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). Additionally airline associations (IATA & A4E) have released comments concerning the recent EU Commission proposal for norther summer 2021 (pdf).
WASB Recommendations for Slot Coordination during COVID-19
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.
- The Worldwide Airport Slot Board (WASB) has agreed a guidance paper on returning slots under the WASB recommendation on slot use relief for northern summer 2021 (pdf).
- Changes in Airport Levels as a result of COVID-19 (pdf)
- Airport Capacity Declaration and Temporary Changes in Capacity due to COVID-19 (pdf)
- Airport Capacity Declaration and Temporary Changes in Capacity due to COVID-19 (pdf) - SPANISH translation
- IATA, Airport Council International (ACI) and the Worldwide Airport Coordinators Group (WWACG) jointly hosted a webinar on the aviation industry global approach for slot rules in northern summer 2021. WATCH WEBINAR
- IATA hosted a webinar where experts from airlines globally discussed their experiences and considerations for planning their airlines restart and building schedules for recovery. WATCH WEBINAR
Press releases & Media
- Slot relief in the European Union Winter 2021: Why early granting of slot relief enables airlines to prioritise an environmentally sustainable flying schedule (pdf)
- Aviation industry calls on regulators to act swiftly and adopt airport slot relief measures (pdf)
- Airline associations (IATA & A4E) comments concerning the recent EU Commission proposal for Summer 2021 (pdf)
- EUACA communication about the EU Commission statement of its intention to extend the slot usage waiver for the entire winter 2020 season (pdf)
- Joint agreement of airlines, airports and coordinators on the conditions that will be applicable to the NW20 EU slot waiver (pdf)
- Northern Winter 2020 Slot Waiver - Airline Industry View (pdf)
- Please see our video where we explain why a slot waiver before the end of July is essential for airlines to plan a realistic schedule for Northern Winter 2020.
- Northern Winter 2020/2021 slot usage alleviation summary - Level 3 airports (pdf)
- COVID-19: Flexibility will be critical to success in the first year of restart (pdf)
- COVID-19: Flexibility will be critical to success in the first year of the restart, CHINESE TRANSLATION (pdf)
- Northern Summer 2020 Slot usage alleviation summary (pdf)
- Northern Winter 2020 waiver - a matter of urgency (pdf)
Other COVID-19 resources on iata.org