The passengers are gone but with the EU rules on “slots” companies are forced to fly even with empty planes

Protests are multiplying for the European organization of scheduled flights requires companies to maintain a certain number of connections to retain the “slots”, ie i take-off and landing rights at various airports. In a period of resurgence of the pandemic, many people give up flying (also due to the risk of quarantines at their own expense abroad) and so on the planes leave empty or semi-emptythe. But the companies cannot do otherwise. Five days ago also the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg raised the issue by pointing to the company’s case Brusseles Airlines which would effect about 3mila loves not needed just to save its slots. But the issue affects all carriers, including big names like Lufthansa, Air France or Ryanair.

According to data from EuroControl, air traffic in Europe remains around 20% below the 2019 values. An almost constant figure since last October, therefore, in the face of a presumable decline in travelers in recent weeks, for now there is no decrease in connections. As the newspaper recalls today The Republic, during the summer the EU Commission raised to 64% the level of slot occupancy necessary to maintain the right to “seat” at the airport. The threshold was reduced to 50% in the hottest months of the pandemic when air links were almost zero. Brussels has extended the limit of 64% until next October, still postponing the return to the usual 80%. However, for now, no intervention in relation to the recent spread of infections. Air connections are responsible, on a global level, for approx 3% of total Co2 emissions, a growing share before the pandemic. The sector consumes about 20% of the fuels refined every year in the world.

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