From October, the Luxembourg airline must use at least 50% of its slots at international airports, otherwise, they will be allocated to other airlines. With the drop in the number of passengers, the operation is proving to be complex.
Bad times for Luxair. After a relatively weak start to the summer season, the airline is worried as winter approaches. Because, according to European regulation, the Luxembourg company will have to honour at least 50% of its time slots from the month of October, even if it means having to fly empty or almost. Otherwise, it risks losing them.
Gilles Feith, the CEO of Luxair, says that already during the summer, the company had to “give up flying” on certain crucial slots “for various reasons” while ensuring loss-making flights to Paris and Geneva to protect its landing rights.
Small companies like Luxair, ranked 166th in the list of the largest airlines in the world, are the most penalised by the European system. The Luxembourg Minister of Mobility François Bausch had nevertheless asked that the mandatory minimum be revised downwards. In particular, he proposed to the European Commission that incumbent companies weakened by covid should only use 30% of their reserved slots.
To no avail. On the contrary, the Commission decided to return to the pre-covid proportions, namely 80% in summer and 50% in winter. A requirement that was suspended in March 2020, due to the pandemic.
Source: Luxemburger Wort