Planes fly empty to keep value take-off slots at Heathrow
BMI, the third largest airline in the UK, has admitted it is planning to keep running virtually empty flights in spite of decreasing passenger numbers in order to hold on to its landing and takeoff slots at airports. I've flown on a lot of virtually empty flights in Europe and have often wondered why they keep them running.
The company admitted it would continue flights, despite an expected slump in passenger numbers, in order to avoid losing the multimillion-pound slots.
Government "use-it-or-lose-it" rules mean airlines must use 80 per cent of their scheduled slots, or forfeit them.
The rise in fuel prices and an expected slump in passengers after the summer break will force many airlines to cancel flights. However, bmi said it will go to extreme lengths to ensure it does not lose any of its coveted slots.