What ghost flights do airlines complain about?

What ghost flights do airlines complain about?
What ghost flights do airlines complain about?
International airlines said they are operating almost empty flights, as the mutated Omicron undermines travel, stressing at the same time that European Union rules prevent them from stopping work.

And the American newspaper “Washington Post” added in a report published on Saturday: “At a time when the Omicron mutant undermines travel around the world, airlines say that European Union regulations are forcing them to operate almost empty, unnecessary and harmful to the environment as well, while they are obliged to continue in order to preserve long-term take-off and landing rights at European airports.”

The newspaper went on to say: “Airlines must maintain a certain percentage of flights to airports in order to maintain their presence there, but the decline in demand for travel during the outbreak of the epidemic causes these companies to operate almost empty flights, or so-called ghost flights, in order to be able to fulfill with those requirements.

The giant German airline, Lufthansa, said it had to cancel 33,000 flights, or 10% of its winter flights, due to the drop in demand, according to the newspaper.

The company expected that it would have to operate 18,000 flights, despite the severe poverty in booking its seats, in order to maintain its positions in European airports.

The newspaper pointed out that the European Union relaxed these regulations with the onset of the pandemic, but brought them back again last year. Before the pandemic, airlines were required to use 80% of the landing slots to maintain them, while the union decided last year that airlines would use 50% of those slots, and allowed them to make some exceptions in case they needed to reduce this rate.

The newspaper said: “But airlines and environmental groups say that the rules for exceptions are not clear, and they want the European Union to completely cancel the required rates, at least during the epidemic period, when the required percentage is expected to rise to 64% during the spring of 2022.”

However, EU officials have defended those policies, saying they need to find a balance between protecting customers and boosting the battered airline industry. For example, if airlines have immunity to cancel flights, they can book passengers on other flights on different days. In order to reach the maximum profit.

The newspaper quoted a senior official in the European Commission, who declined to be identified, as saying that there is no evidence that airlines, including “Lufthansa”, need to operate ghost flights, or empty seats, during the period of the outbreak of the mutant Omicron, and provided statistics stating that Air travel during the first days of January reached 77% of the pre-pandemic stage, and this percentage is expected to rise.

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