Interested airlines can now apply for the 18 slits (landing and take-off times) in Lisbon, belonging to TAP Air Portugal. The process is part of the agreement between the Portuguese government and the European Union to grant aid to the national company during the pandemic.
The process will start now and should be completed by the middle of the year. The use of slits the winning company will only be allowed from the end of October, in the so-called winter season (low season), informs the Notícias ao Minuto website.
In December 2021, the European Commission authorized Portugal to provide €2.55 billion in restructuring aid to TAP, along with some premises. One of them asks another airline to receive up to 18 daily slots, free of charge, to establish a new base or expand an existing base at Lisbon airport in order to preserve free competition.
The call for proposals was published on February 25 by management consultancy firm Alcis Advisers, appointed by Brussels as monitoring administrator to oversee the implementation of Portugal’s commitments.
According to the published guidelines, TAP will have to provide slots corresponding to 20 minutes for short-haul flights and 60 minutes for long-haul flights in relation to the times requested by the competitor. If TAP does not have slits in the time window, will transfer the slits closest to the requested time. the hours of slits arrival and departure times will be defined in such a way as to allow reasonable rotation of aircraft by the competitor.
If no airline is selected to receive the slitsAlcis Advice will launch another call for proposals before the general slot allocation procedure for summer 2023. Subsequent tender processes may be called until the total number of slits be transferred no later than December 31, 2025.
The European Commission will assess all proposals before making a decision. Air carriers must submit expressions of interest under specific eligibility criteria by March 24, 2022. Qualified applicants must submit their full proposals by May 12, 2022. The Commission intends to make a decision by the week of June 13, 2022, after which the consultants will issue a request to confirm the potential winner.