Wizz Air calls for an end to the blockage of airport slots
The battle begins on the slots at Europe's major airports. At the beginning of the pandemic, when airlines had to suspend flights and thousands of planes were on the ground, the European Commission decided to apply a derogation from the slot policy (80-20 use it or lose it). It seemed like a very good decision at the time. Airlines did not lose the slots allocated at the largest airports in the EU, even if they were not used.
On July 23, EU officials announced plans to extend the slot waiver in the 2020-2021 winter season as well. It's just that airlines are now flying, and some, like Wizz Air, are unhappy with these decisions. The latter considers it an unnatural decision, which blocks the expansion of companies capable of this. Plus it's an anti-competitive decision.
Okay, here we can take into account the financial part. Normally, an airline can sell a slot with very large sums of money. Or, if the slots policy is applied (80-20 use it or lose it), then companies like Wizz Air could grab many slots at much lower prices.
But let's see what Wizz Air has to say in a statement issued on July 23. Details below!
"I call on the European Commission to end the exception to Rule 80-20 on slots for all European airlines from 25 October 2020"
Wizz Air calls on the European Commission and all other interested entities to stop the current 80-20 rule exception, use it or lose it (80-20 use it or lose it) regarding airport flight slots.
An extension of the exception to the rule would be illogical and anti-competitive and would interfere instead of helping to recover the aviation industry in the EU. Wizz Air was founded with a simple goal: to expand opportunities through accessible travel.
However, if the exception to the rule of use for airport slots is extended in the winter season, Wizz Air would have been prevented from doing so. Airlines with poor business models or a history of poor cost management would still benefit from slots, even if they do not have the capacity to use them. This would also prevent Wizz Air from offering its passengers more services at reduced prices.
In addition, this would adversely affect the economies of the cities served by these airports, as airports would suffer from a shortage of passengers, reducing everything from their own employment requirements to supply chains and local supply. It would also influence the EU's economic recovery by restricting air connectivity and bring a high cost to already affected economies.
Wizz Air targets the London Gatwick slots
For example, some of the existing airlines at London Gatwick Airport believe that it may take years for demand levels to return to normal. Wizz Air considers that allowing these airlines to block slots without operating them is not, in fact, in the interests of airlines such as Wizz Air, airports or the economic recovery of the European Union.
Wizz Air has been and remains a growth-focused company and, unlike many other carriers, has not received any state aid, but has recovered 77% of its capacity from year to year and to be able to insure and expand services long awaited by its passengers, it is interested in pursuing new market opportunities, including in some of the airports with limited slots in Europe, which are currently unavailable due to unused slots held by carriers without operations.
József Váradi, CEO of Wizz Air Group, said: "I call on the European Commission to end the exception to Rule 80-20 on slots for all airlines in Europe from 25 October 2020 and to support the recovery of the aviation sector and associated industries, allowing for real market conditions. The current plan to extend the derogation until March 2021 is against free competition and protects existing airlines with weak business models, while airlines such as Wizz Air are ready to adopt new market opportunities and offer passengers even more opportunities. at reduced rates. ”