KUALA LUMPUR: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said takeoff and landing slot rules at airports are likely to be restored soon.

Many countries have currently adopted either a partial or full waiver of the 80:20 slot rules, which requires airlines to fill at least 80 per cent of their slots or risk losing their allocation, an IATA Media Global Day revealed.

Malaysia has adopted a 50:50 slot rule following adverse impacts on demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions.

In view of the projected recovery in the airline industry, the European Commission has imposed a 75:25 slot rule beginning Oct 30, with airlines now needing to boost flights to the region or risk losing their slots.

‘’With slot rules coming back to the 80 per cent level, we can expect scheduled flights (to return) to the 2019 level. So we really hope that the supply chain is ready for that level of operation. We know there are other issues on the horizon and we need to remain flexible to manage that,” head of Worldwide Airport Slots Lara Maughan said at the two-day IATA Media Global Day here.

‘’But what we are really concerned about is this misguided reform agenda that regulators have and what we really want to do is to focus on the slot guidelines so that each of the group continues to work in the same way,’’ she said.

Maughan said stricter airline slot rules will not achieve sustainability objectives but could instead heighten competition, adding risk to airlines which are currently in the process of recovery.

Hence, she said congestion and capacity management will be a key issue to be addressed in 2023.

IATA has projected passenger volume to end the year at 70 per cent of 2019 level. - Bernama