willie walsh iata
IATA DG Willie Walsh

IATA DG Willie Walsh is cross. It’s not often such a scathing press release is sent out; in this case, complaining about the European Commission’s plan to make airlines use 50% of their slots through the winter season. And Mr Walsh does not hold back.

“Once again the commission has shown they are out of touch with reality. The airline industry is still facing the worst crisis in its history. The commission had an open goal to use the slots regulation to promote a sustainable recovery for airlines, but they missed. Instead, they have shown contempt for the industry, and for the many member states that repeatedly urged a more flexible solution, by stubbornly pursuing a policy that is contrary to all the evidence presented to them.”

Perhaps the most interesting part is IATA’s research into winter demand. Forward bookings are lower than last year and, compared against May 2019, industry-wide passenger volumes are 62.7% down. IATA added that international traffic may recover to 34% of 2019 figures by the end of the year. In other words, capacity will continue to be low – but slots must be used nevertheless.

SimpleFlying reports.

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