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Airlines urge regulators to extend airport slots waiver

FILE PHOTO: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) logo is seen at the International Tourism Trade Fair ITB in Berlin, Germany, March 7, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Airlines are urging aviation regulators to extend a waiver on airport slot rules as they struggle to overcome the coronavirus crisis, their main international body said on Tuesday.

Authorities are being asked to suspend rules requiring airlines to use 80% of their airport slots or else forfeit the capacity, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

The waiver should be extended beyond the 2020-2021 winter season as demand remains weak and visibility low, IATA Chief Economist Brian Pearce said. Without a waiver, “connectivity to long-haul destinations will be at risk,” he said.

Reporting by Laurence Frost, editing by Louise Heavens