The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on regulators to temporarily suspend the use of slots at airports due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on air travel.
According to the current rules, the carrier is deprived of the right to slots used for less than 80%. "There are precedents for the temporary cancellation of the rules for using slots, and we believe that the circumstances again require the suspension (of these rules - if)," said the head of the Association, Alexandre de Juniac, whose words are quoted in the IATA press release.
IATA notes that the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak had a serious negative impact on air travel. The association cites the example of an airline that faced a 26% decline in operations. Many carriers report that 50% of passengers do not show up for flights in different regions.
At the same time, the spread of the disease affected not only flights to Asia. One airline cited by IATA has recorded a lack of new flight bookings to Italy and an increase in refunds for this destination.
"The IATA study showed that traffic has declined significantly in the main Asian destinations, and the trend is spreading to air traffic on a global scale, even between countries where there has not been a large-scale COVID - 19 outbreak," de Juniac added.
In recent weeks, a number of airlines have reduced the number of flights and warned that lower demand will negatively affect their performance in the short term.
On Monday, March 2, Ireland's Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe's largest discount airline, announced a 25% reduction in its short-haul flight program - mainly from Italy and to this country. The reduction is planned for a three-week period - from March 17 to April 8, 2020. British Airways, in turn, announced the cancellation of more than 200 flights from 16 to 28 March.