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IATA urges industry abandon airport slot coordination 'til end of year

AS the coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc on aviation operations worldwide, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is demanding that aviation regulators shelve rules governing airport slot coordination 'immediately and for the 2020 season', New York's Air Cargo World reported

04 March 2020 - 19:00

AS the coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc on aviation operations worldwide, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is demanding that aviation regulators shelve rules governing airport slot coordination 'immediately and for the 2020 season', New York's Air Cargo World reported.

At airports with slot coordination, airlines must operate at least 80 per cent of their assigned slots under normal circumstances or lose their rights to the slot during the next season.



In its request, IATA is stressing the 'severe impact on air traffic' caused by the coronavirus, with many carriers reporting sharp declines in bookings in certain markets. Some carriers based in heavily affected markets are seeing these reductions across their entire operations.



Regulators have already been taking a softer approach to the slot-coordination rule for flights to mainland China and Hong Kong, IATA said, but added that 'given the recent further outbreaks this is no longer contained to the Asia markets'.



Historically, slot coordination rules have had an outsized impact on freighter operations at already busy airports. In 2019, US-based carrier Kalitta Air lost its assigned slots at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) as its operations did not meet the on-time rules and the airport reached its maximum annual movement cap, prompting AMS to clamp down on the slot-coordination rule.



Following the coronavirus outbreak, scheduled freighter movements have remained more consistent while a large share of passenger air traffic has been cancelled.


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