Slot allocation achieves unprecedented choice in Europe

Air passengers in Europe are enjoying an unprecedented level of choice and competition in air travel, despite the constraints imposed by a lack of new airport capacity, according to a report by IATA, the International Air Travel Association.

Air passengers and the EU economy are benefitting from new routes and the growth of low-cost carriers and other new market entrants.

Analysis by IATA reveals:

  • Airports classified at the highest level of congestion in Europe added 2,000 more routes in the 2010-2017 period
  • Over the same period the number of long-haul routes grew by 27%
  • 30% of European routes are now operated by two or more carriers, an increase of 5 percentage points since 2010.

A recent study commissioned by Airports Council International (ACI) Europe, from consultancy ICF, shows:

  • More than 55% of seat capacity on intra-Europe routes is competed between full-service carriers and low-cost carriers, which have grown rapidly since the turn of the century
  • Over the past 20 years there has been a near-doubling in city-pair connections within Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world.

“European consumers have greater choice and more competition than ever before when deciding how they travel within or beyond Europe. This is no small achievement when you consider that Europe’s airports are among the most congested in the world,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Although  European Slot Regulation is working well, IATA believes it could work even better.

“Airports must do more to increase the operating capacity of existing infrastructure and governments need to encourage and facilitate timely and cost-effective expansion of congested airports and airspace,” said de Juniac.

“But this cannot work without the consistent application of transparent methodologies for determining available capacity. There is room for improvement. Only through regular and impartial analysis can all capacity become available for more slots to be allocated.”

IATA (International Air Transport Association)