Airlines fly thousands of completely empty airliners in disgusting garbage
The situation is as terrible as it is preventable.
Want more proof that we live in a hellish landscape of late stage capitalism? Look no further than Europe, where tens of thousands of empty planes fly due to an air traffic rule – while needlessly polluting the skies.
As an English-speaking Belgian magazine The bulletin reports, German airline Lufthansa operated 18,000 empty flights this winter alone due to a European Union rule requiring airlines to operate at least half of their scheduled flights in order to retain their seats at airports .
Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU required airlines to meet 80% of their scheduled take-offs and landings, or risk losing their slots to competing carriers. Although this figure has been reduced to 50 percent in 2021, this number is still too high for passenger demand, The bulletin Noted.
Lufthansa has already canceled 33,000 flights since hyper-transmissible Omicron variant leads to worldwide vacation trip cancellations – and government officials and Lufthansa itself are imploring the EU to reconsider the rule again for environmental reasons.
“While in almost every other part of the world, climate-friendly exceptions have been found in times of a pandemic,” said Carsten Spohr, CEO of the Lufthansa Group. told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “The EU doesn’t allow this in the same way.”
Both the EU and Lufthansa have, on paper at least, pledged to halve their carbon emissions over the next decade. This debacle goes against those commitments, however, given that only one return ticket from New York to Europe contributes almost a literal ton of carbon dioxide alone.
Georges Gilkinet, the Belgian Minister of Mobility, has also asked the EU for a reduction in the tariff, because Brussels Airlines, the small country, which belongs to the Lufthansa group, represents 3,000 of these 18,000 “ghost flights”.
But regulators are not moving. Like Euronews Noted, The European Transport Commission has so far signaled that it will not further reduce the requirement below 50 percent, a spokesperson suggesting the current reduction is more than enough.
The solution is of course simple: these unnecessary ghost flights must stop now.
But because the basics are king even in the midst of a global pandemic – not to mention climate change – it doesn’t look like this chicken game is over anytime soon.
READ MORE: European airlines operate 18,000 empty flights due to stupid rule [Vice News]
Learn more about ghost flights: As coronavirus rages, airlines perform nearly empty ‘ghost flights’
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