The airline industry has entered a period that has never been experienced before. The retraction in demand due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, travel restrictions, border closures, corporation travel bans, and economic decline have resulted in airlines being able to offer skeleton services, if at all. On this page you will find information, guidance and resources related to COVID-19, restart and airport slots.




NORTHERN SUMMER 2022: Aviation industry agrees on a global recommendation for airport slot relief for the Summer season


Considering the continued lack of predictability, certainty or stability in the global aviation network, the Worldwide Airport Slot Board (WASB) is proposing a continuation of slot alleviation measures for the NS22 season (pdf). The three industry groups encourage Regulators worldwide to adopt this complete package in full, as quickly as possible, to support the industry’s planning.

COVID-19 and Global Suspension of Slot Rules

Northern Winter 2021

Please find below a continuously updated list of the status of slot use relief measures at level 3 airports for the Northern Winter 2021 season:

Level 3 - Slot coordinated airports: Northern Winter 2021 slot use relief status summary (pdf)

Level 2 - Schedules facilitated airports: Northern Winter 2021 status (pdf)

The WASB recommendation for Northern Winter 2021 slot relief (pdf) is a package of measures designed to enable recovery while recognizing the prolonged impact the crisis is having on the ability for airlines to utilize their slots. In summary it requests governments to adopt a slot relief package of measures outlined below:

  • Alleviation from normal use requirements for full slot series returned to the slot coordinator in early September, allowing airlines to retain the right to these historic slots for Winter 2022 while providing a pool of ad hoc capacity for reallocation and airport planning needs;
  • A lower slot use threshold of 50% for those slots held and planned for use in winter 2021;
  • A requirement to cancel slots no longer planned for use during the season at least four weeks prior to operation;
  • A clear definition of what is acceptable non-use of a slot. For example, force majeure as a result of short-term border closures or quarantine measures imposed by governments.
  • Slot series operated in winter 2021 on a non-historic basis should have priority over new demand for the same timings in northern winter 2022, subject to capacity availability.

Slot Relief in the European Union Winter 2021

Northern Summer 2021

Please find below a continuously updated list of the status of slot use relief measures at level 3 airports for the Northern Summer 2021 season:
Level 3
- Slot coordinated airports: Northern Summer 2021 slot use relief status summary (pdf) 

Level 2 - Schedules facilitated airports: Norther Summer 2021 status (pdf)

The Worldwide Airport Slot Board (WASB), comprising Airports Council International (ACI World), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the Worldwide Airport Coordinators Group (WWACG) released a joint recommendation for airport slot use relief for the northern summer 2021 season (pdf). Additionally airline associations (IATA & A4E) have released comments concerning the recent EU Commission proposal for norther summer 2021 (pdf).

WASB Recommendations for Slot Coordination during COVID-19

The Worldwide Airport Slot Board (WASB) has provided industry recommendations to ensure best practice approaches for slot coordination, airport capacity and slot allocation management throughout the crisis. We strongly encourage all global slot coordinators, airports and airlines to adopt these to ensure consistent slot coordination and management.



  • IATA, Airport Council International (ACI) and the Worldwide Airport Coordinators Group (WWACG) jointly hosted a webinar on the aviation industry global approach for slot rules in northern summer 2021.
  • IATA hosted a webinar where experts from airlines globally discussed their experiences and considerations for planning their airlines restart and building schedules for recovery. 

Press releases & Media


  • Please see our .

Other COVID-19 resources on


Lara Maughan, IATA Head of Worldwide airport slots, on the need to suspend the slot usage rules.
Lufthansa Group CEO (and recent IATA Chairman) Carsten Spohr gave an excellent summary of the vital need for slot use relief – either a full waiver or implementing the full recommendation of the World Airport Slots Board -  in a recent interview in the.