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.
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)
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.
- The Worldwide Airport Slot Board (WASB) has agreed a guidance paper to support the planning and slot coordination process (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 Summer 2021. WATCH WEBINAR
- 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.
- 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).
- European Commission Delegated Act extending the slot waiver in the EU for the full NW20 season.
- EUACA communication about the EU Commisasion 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
- Northern Winter 2020 Slot Waiver - Airline Industry View (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)
- 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
Other COVID-19 resources on iata.org