Secondary Slot Trading at Schiphol
The study shows that a majority of the consulted stakeholders supports a form of secondary slot trading. Airlines prefer a system of bilateral negotiation with limited transparency. From an economic perspective, such a bilateral trade system does not guarantee an efficient allocation of resources and may interfere with fair competition. For this reason, it is necessary that supervisory bodies pay attention to the possible impacts on competition. Furthermore, the study shows it is important that the legal conditions enabling secondary slot trade are being met. This includes the legal conditions regarding allowing fake swaps by means of junk slots and the possibility for the slot coordinator to allow overbooking of the seasonal limit. At present there is no clarity on these topics. It is expected that potential buyers of secondary slots include KLM and airlines for which Schiphol is an important part of their network, such as easyJet, Transavia and TUI. Potential sellers include airlines for which surrounding (regional) airports are a viable alternative and for freight carriers. The implementation of a secondary slot trading system will most likely lead to more slot mobility, but not necessarily to a more efficient use of the scarce airport capacity. Additionally, the probability that such a system will lead to a dominant market position of one of more airlines is low.
The reason for this research is the increasing capacity scarcity at Schiphol, which raises the question whether secondary trading of slots between airlines can contribute to an optimal use of the capacity.
The above conclusions are reached through a combination of desk research, which focused on the experiences with systems of secondary slot trading in other countries, data analysis of the current capacity use, and in-depth interviews with a large number of sector parties.
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