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posted by martyb on Tuesday January 11, @07:32PM   Printer-friendly
from the use-it-or-lose-it dept.

Report: Lufthansa Group Confirmed That 18,000 Flights Had Been Flown Empty To Keep Airport Slots - Airlive:

[...] Under these "use it or lose it" regulations, prior to the pandemic carriers had to utilise at least 80pc of their scheduled take-off and landing slots.

This was revised to 50pc as coronavirus saw travel become increasingly difficult – but airlines are still struggling to hit this target.

As a result of Lufthansa Group's latest figures, the Belgian federal government has written to the European Commission, calling for a change to the rules on maintaining slots.


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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @10:10AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @10:10AM (#1212059)

    1. Pilots have to get their hours to keep flying. Whether the airline is paying for simulator time or air time, they are paying for it. If pilots lapse, it requires even more pilot time to get them back where they can legally fly.

    2. If you lose your airport slot and then need to fly those flights again in the future, you are either buying/leasing the slot from your competitors or hoping that someone else loses their slot and it gets reallocated to you at the start of an upcoming season because you are no longer at the back of the line.

    3. Airlines often purchase things using contracts/futures. It can be cheaper to just buy the minimum and fly rather than trying to resell or renegotiate after breaking the contract.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @12:02PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @12:02PM (#1212075)

    1. Microsoft Flight Simulator is certified for simulator time. Every professional pilot has a copy and a dedicated simulator PC at home. They only use company simulators for type certification these days since that still requires a full cockpit. Flying hours during the pandemic have largely been kept by renting GA aircraft at the pilot's expense.
    2. This is the reason. Full stop.
    3. It is cheaper to resell, store, or throw out surplus supplies than fly.

    The majority of commercial aircraft have been grounded for two years due to the pandemic.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @11:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @11:42PM (#1212246)

      Microsoft Flight Simulator is not certified for simulator time. But even if the software was approved, you have to have approved hardware to go with it. And not all of their proficiency and training can be done in a simulator either.

      It isn't always cheaper to resell, store, or discard. You have to find legal space to store your supplies that you can't sell. The stuff you can sell is going to be at a loss. And once you break those contracts, you have to renegotiate them in the future which can cost you a lot in the long term.