To avoid losing take-off and landing slots, Brussels Airlines has performed 3,000 flights without passengers this winter.
According to a story in The Bulletin, the airline’s parent company, Lufthansa Group, admitted that 18,000 aircraft were flown empty, including 3,000 Brussels Airlines services.
To preserve their slots at major airports, airlines must perform a specific percentage of scheduled flights, according to EU regulations.
Prior to the pandemic, airlines were required to use at least 80% of their planned take-off and landing slots under these “use it or lose it” standards.
As a result of the coronavirus, this was reduced to 50%, but airlines are still having difficulty meeting this goal.
The Belgian federal government has written to the European Commission, requesting that the regulations on preserving slots be changed as a result of Lufthansa Group’s latest numbers.
In January and February, the Lufthansa Group, which includes the airlines Lufthansa, Swiss International Airlines, Austrian Airlines, and Eurowings as well as Brussels Airlines, canceled 33,000 flights.