EU extends until March 27 waiver of rule that airlines use slots

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium August 21, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will extend until March 27 a waiver of the requirement that airlines use 80% of their take-off and landing slots, to help an industry still suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The European Commission, which adopted the extension on Wednesday, said in a statement that it had adopted the proposal. The waiver initially ran until Oct 24.

The waiver was put in place to avoid airlines operating empty “ghost flights” to keep their slots. European Transport Commissioner Adina Valean said flights were down 54% in September and that it was not set to rise in the near term.

Reporting by Marine Strauss @StraussMarine and Philip Blenkinsop