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IATA: slot allocation achieves choice and competition in Europe

According to analysis and study

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) provided evidence that the current system for allocating capacity at Europe’s airports is benefiting consumers with greater choice and expanded connectivity.

Consumer benefits

Air passengers in Europe are enjoying an unprecedented level of choice and competition in air travel, despite the constraints imposed by a lack of new airport capacity. Passengers and the EU economy are benefitting from new routes and the growth of low-cost carriers and other new market entrants.

Analysis by IATA reveals that:

A recent study commissioned by Airports Council International (ACI) Europe, from consultancy ICF, shows:

Slot Regulation working well

The ACI Report and IATA’s research confirm that the rules for allocating scarce capacity at Europe’s congested airports are fostering competition and growing connectivity. Europe has more than half of all the world’s slot-constrained airports. The European Slot Regulation ensures that these airports provide opportunities for low-cost and full-service carriers to enter the market and provide competition and choice for passengers.

Although the European Slot Regulation is working well, the airline sector recognizes that it could work even better. It is important that slot rules find a balance between (i) protecting the interests of incumbent carriers and consumers who value the services incumbent airlines provide; (ii) accommodating the desire of new entrants to enter the market and provide market competition; and (iii) enabling the market to adapt to changing consumer demands. To further these objectives IATA, ACI and the independent slot coordinators have formed a working group to look at improvements to the current system that is due to be reported to the ICAO Assembly in 2019.

Airport capacity declaration needs improvement

The slot rules can only make best use of the declared capacity at each airport. The inconsistency in declared capacity between airports of similar size is a clear sign that opportunities to unlock more capacity exist.   

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