What’s Going On Here?

???? Just last week airlines were being forced to waste thousands of gallons of fuel flying empty ‘ghost’ planes in order to keep flight slots during the coronavirus outbreak.

???? Thankfully pressure on the regulators has put a hold to the madness!

What Does This Mean?

In order for airline companies to use an airport, they need to own a “slot pair” → a specific takeoff and landing time. These assets are normally hot property- just this week Air New Zealand sold a single Heathrow slot pair for $27 million.

In order to prevent “slot squatting”, airport slot regulators such as Airport Coordination Limited (ACL) require airlines to utilise 80% of their slots or forfeit them.

With the outbreak of the coronavirus, passenger numbers have shrunk, and the airlines were having to fly empty planes to avoid losing their paid-for slots.

BUT THIS CRAZINESS ISN’T NEW – An empty plane used to fly from London Heathrow to Wales 6 times every week to dodge the forfeit, and it is still happening????.

Why Should We Care?

With pressure on the likes of ACL, the “rules” have been relaxed and for a period, airliners won’t need to hit their 80% flying quota. Phew.
But if a positive can be taken from the coronavirus, it’s that profit first, planet last models such as this are under the spotlight once again!

The practice of flying empty planes to avoid larger costs isn’t a new one, but the extreme situation with the coronavirus has thankfully put this environmentally disastrous mal-practice into the public eye!

Be Curious!

  • Knowledge is king, learn about this topic and discuss it with your friends! Share an alternative approach to slot management with us and we can write a letter to the ACL.
  • Learn more about the topic here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8XZriAdB1g

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