EU to halt ‘ghost flights’ in emergency coronavirus rule change

The European Commission is preparing to allow airlines to keep their coveted airport slots without having to fly near-empty planes, in response to plummeting demand for flights triggered by Covid-19.

In a press conference on Tuesday, commission president Ursula von der Leyen confirmed that the rules, which require airlines to operate 80% of scheduled services in order to keep their landing slots at airports, would be temporarily suspended. 

“The coronavirus outbreak has a major impact on the European and international aviation industry,” von der Leyen said. “And this is why the commission will put forward, very rapidly, legislation regarding the so-called airport slots. We want to make it easier for airlines to keep their airport slots even if they do not operate flights in those slots because of the decline in traffic.”

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