4 Responses

  1. Sean Mendis
    Sean Mendis at |

    This of course has the net effect of shutting out new entrants at the airports in question. Under IATA SC guidelines, half of the “pool” slots have to be allocated with preference to new entrants over incumbent operators – while in the secondary market no such regulation exists (which is why the EU has traditionally opposed secondary market transactions in favour of transparent neutral co-ordination instead). This kind of transaction has been challenged before and the EU courts have ruled differently from the British courts on similar grounds, but there won’t be enough time to challenge these in the EU system before Brexit takes effect. A very disappointing result.

    1. Seth Miller
      Seth Miller at |

      Agreed that it is generally bad for consumers.

      Then again, the EU seems content to let Easyjet and Lufthansa Group split up the Air Berlin remnants in Germany, so maybe not all that much different on the Continent. :/

    2. Sean Mendis
      Sean Mendis at |

      Seth Miller, there is a big difference because those are physical assets with underlying value. Airport slots are not – they were never purchased by the airline operating them (other than in a secondary market transaction which is not technically a purchase, but rather an “exchange” of an unfavourable slot plus cash for a favourable slot) – so basically they constitute a cash transfer to the “selling” airline in exchange for an asset that was allocated to them for free whenever they initially obtained the underlying historics.

    3. Seth Miller
      Seth Miller at |

      The Air Berlin slots or the planes/crew? I agree that the planes are physical assets but I also think they’re a commodity rather than the access at DUS/TXL Lufty and Easyjet are buying.