Ghost flights still running but not to maintain airport slots but rather due to a lack of passengers across the board.
With the coronavirus pandemic still maintaining its firm grip on the global population, more and more empty flights are taking to the air. This is all happening in spite of the massive numbers of cancelled flights that are being announced every day.
This photo was sent to Euro Weekly News by an avid reader. It shows a completely empty Ryanair flight where the passenger was one of very few to board.
It further demonstrates the dire situation for the aviation industry and the requirement for more to be done to aid it in these difficult times.
The knock-on effect of these situations with empty planes means more and more flights and holidays being cancelled. The subsequent knock-on effect of that for tourism and businesses all across Europe is dire and the continuation of individual country restrictions looks set to stop tourist trying to travel for quite a time to come.
This all occurs as this week it was announced in Spain that 80% of hotels on the Costa del Sol were expected to close and not reopen until next year. Many of these are hotels that would normally be open year-round.
With a lack of adequate fast testing of passengers, a lack of tourist venues now available, and a lack of adequate support for ailing businesses, it is difficult to see how the economy can recover.
However, all is not entirely lost. The EU has agreed to extend a waiver program so that flight operators will not have to continue to fly empty flights just so that they can maintain their airport privileges such a slot reservation.
The European commission has extended its guarantee to waive take-off and landing slot rules until at least March 2021. It is hope that the measure will assist the ailing aviation industry and curb the continuing “Ghost” flight culture that has cropped up across Europe.
Usually, prior to the pandemic, airlines would have to utilise at least 80% of their slot at an airport or face penalties such as losing the slots.
EU transport boss, Adina Vălean, has said of a report issued today regarding the aviation industry, “Today’s report shows that air traffic levels remain low, and more importantly, they are not likely to recover in the near future,”
She continued, “In this context, the lack of certainty over slots makes it difficult for airlines to plan their schedules, making planning difficult for airports and passengers,”
“Slots are not always relinquished in time for other users or airports to plan operations as they would like; competition may also be distorted if airlines seek to benefit by increasing their market presence without using their slots and airport capacity correctly,”
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