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Mobility and Transport
News article13 October 2022Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport

Aviation: Commission welcomes political agreement on new EU slot relief rules

The European Commission welcomes the political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council, confirmed yesterday by Member States, on its July proposal to extend certain slot flexibilities for the next two scheduling seasons, until 28 October 2023. In the final agreement, co-legislators decided to raise the slot use rate up from the current 64% to 75% for the 2022/2023 winter season – rather than the 80% initially proposed by the Commission. This new use rate, to apply as of 30 October 2022, remains broadly in line with current traffic and forecast demand as recovery continues. Eurocontrol forecasts that air traffic will reach 90% of pre-COVID levels during the coming winter season. Importantly, by agreeing to the Commission’s proposal to prolong the ‘justified non-use of slots’ exception, the agreement also gives more flexibility to airlines and slot coordinators to respond to epidemiological developments and impacts from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: "I welcome this political agreement, marking an important step back to normality after the pandemic. The new EU slot relief rules reflect the rapid rise in demand for air travel, and will help the sector’s recovery as travel returns. At the same time, they will ensure a healthy competition in the market, for the benefit of our citizens."

The use rate will revert to 80% after the winter season unless the Commission decides to lower the rate by delegated act. It could do so if air traffic falls below 80% for two consecutive weeks due to the epidemiological situation, or as a direct result of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. The amendment also includes measures to support the recovery of air traffic between the EU and Ukraine, and to mitigate the consequences of Russia’s aggression.

The Council is expected to adopt the legislative act on 17 October 2022.


Publication date
13 October 2022
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport