Airlines will be given more time to pay their European air traffic control fees, with air traffic across continental airspace down 90% owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Eurocontrol has confirmed carriers will be able to defer the payment of their share of the up to £1.1 billion in fees due to Europe’s air traffic management industry over the coming months.
It said with the “dramatic” reduction in operations likely to continue for a number of weeks, the airline industry had sought Eurocontrol’s support to mitigate “its sudden and significant cash flow crisis”.
Director general Eamonn Brennan said he was pleased member states had approved what he described as an “essential measure”. “It will provide much-needed liquidity support,” said Brennan.
“Many airlines contacted Eurocontrol to confirm they would not be in a position to facilitate their next payments. With traffic down 90%, our member states have clearly recognised the shared challenge.
“This payment deferral will ease the immediate burden on airlines and it provides certainty on financial planning to both airlines and air navigation service providers on when payments will be made after the crisis has abated.”