easyJet and JetBlue have both been unsuccessful in applying for slots at London Heathrow for the summer 2021 season.
easyJet and JetBlue had applied for 98 and 42 weekly slots respectively from the pool at Heathrow and none were awarded.
They were far from alone. Each season a large number of airlines apply to Airport Coordination Ltd for slots from a pool of available slots. Almost all get nothing. Slots from the pool are very hard to come by as they only become available when forfeited or handed back by an airline, which most go to great lengths to avoid.
Other airlines that were unsuccessful in applying for slots include Air Baltic, Alitalia Cityliner, Blue Air, Brussels Airlines, Eastern Airways, Loganair, WestJet and Widereo. Unsurprisingly, Norwegian did not apply for any slots at London Heathrow this summer. Only Shenzhen Airlines managed to secure a mere 4 weekly slots.
That does not mean that any of these airlines won’t serve Heathrow this summer. Blue Air will fly from London Heathrow to Bucharest from 1 December 2020 and Cluj-Napoca from 1 March 2021.
The “use it or lose it” slot rules have been waived until the summer season. There are growing calls from both airlines and airports that this should not be extended. In which case, airlines that can’t use their slots will have to lease them to avoid forfeiting them.
Back to JetBlue, it is still keen to talk up its planned transatlantic routes from London in 2021. This is even though transatlantic travel is nowhere close to recovering to normal levels. It has also applied for slots from Gatwick and Stansted, which were awarded for New York and Boston respectively. Remedy slots to Boston are available from American Airlines & BA for the summer.