Monday, September 26, 2022

EU pressure on ‘ghost flights’

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EU pressure on 'ghost flights'

The EU is under increasing pressure to further ease regulations on airport take-off and landing slots in order to cut the number of “ghost flights” airlines have to maintain.

Carriers say they are being forced to operate empty or half-empty flights for them to need to use up 50% of their slots – down from 80% in pre-pandemic days – or lose them.

A slow return to air travel, as passengers turn away from the Omicron COVID version and quickly changing rules for passengers, are dragging the practice longer than they had planned.

Belgium’s Brussels Airlines, for example, says it will have to operate 3,000 low-capacity flights by the end of March.

Its parent company, Lufthansa, warned last month that it expected it to run 18,000 “wasted flights” in the European winter.

Belgium’s transport minister, Georges Gilkinet, has written to the European Commission urging a loosening of slot rules, arguing that the results contradict the EU’s carbon-neutral ambitions.

The current reduced quotas were introduced in March last year for the tougher airlines faced as COVID washed away the number of passengers operating in Europe for a second year.

In December, the commission said this year the 50% limit would be raised to 64% for the April-November summer flight season.

“Despite our urging for greater flexibility at the time, the EU approved a 50%-use rule for each flight schedule/frequency organized for the winter. This was clearly seen in the EU this winter against the background of the current crisis. has been unrealistic,” a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) told AFP.

He added that the commission needed to show more “flexibility … given the significant drop in passengers and the impact of omicron numbers on the planned schedule of crew.”

But on Wednesday a Commission spokesman said the EU executive believes “the reduction in aggregate consumer demand … a much lower rate of 50% than the already normal 80%-use rate rule”. reflected in.”

The spokesman, Daniel Ferry, said: “The Commission expects the operated flights to comply with consumer demand and provide citizens with much needed continuous air connectivity.”

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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