Low-cost carrier Wizz Air is calling for the end of the current waiver from the “use-it-or-lose-it” rule for airport slots.

Before the coronavirus crisis, airlines would lose their airport slots if they were not used 80% of the time.

The regulations were relaxed because of the widespread cancellations during the pandemic.

József Váradi, chief executive of Wizz Air Group, said: “I call on the European Commission to end the 80-20 slot waiver regulation for all airlines in Europe ending October 25 and support the recovery of the aviation sector and the associated industries by allowing genuine market conditions to prevail.

“The current plan to prolong the waiver until March 2021 is against free competition and protects incumbent airlines with weak business models, while airlines like Wizz Air are ready to take up new market opportunities and provide even more low-fare opportunities for their passengers.”

The carrier added that it has not received any state aid and has already recovered 77% of its capacity year-on-year.

“In order to be able to expand and provide great and much anticipated services to its passengers, it is interested in pursuing new market opportunities including in some of the slot constrained airports in Europe which are currently unavailable due to unoperated slots held by incumbent carriers without operations,” it said in a statement.

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