Airlines flying countless ‘ghost flights’ simply to keep landing slots

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    Illustration picture shows Brussels Airlines planes at Brussels Airport, after the suspension of more than 2/3 of the flights of Brussels Airlines, in Zaventem, Friday 20 March 2020.

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    Brussels Airlines’ countless ‘pointless flights’ are amongst 18,000 being zipped moms and dad business Lufthansa (Picture: AFP)

    An airline company has actually supposedly flown 3,000 empty flights this winter season, in an ecologically harmful effort to keep its landing slots.

    Belgium’s Brussels Airlines states it will need to run an additional 3,000 under-capacity journeys approximately completion of March– while its moms and dad business will fly 15,000 more.

    The discoveries– which will irritate environment specialists– stack pressure on the European Union to additional ease guidelines on airport liftoff and landing slots.

    ‘Ghost flights’, which see essentially empty aircrafts release large amounts of carbon into the environment in spite of having couple of or no travelers on board, have actually been a function of the pandemic.

    But providers state the requirement for them to utilize 50% of their slots– below 80% in pre-pandemic days– is requiring them to fly or deal with losing the privileges.

    A slow go back to flight– with travelers postponing strategies due to the Omicron Covid alternative and fears about rapidly altering limitations– is dragging out the practice longer than airline companies had actually prepared.

    Brussels Airlines’ moms and dad business Lufthansa cautioned last month it anticipated it would need to run 18,000 ‘pointless flights’ over the European winter season.

    People wait in front of a Brussels Airlines counter, at Brussels International Airport, in Zaventem, on December 18, 2009. Dozens of flights were cancelled at Brussels international airport on December 18, 2009 after overnight snow falls and ice on runways caused traffic chaos, the facility said on its Internet site. Around 30 outbound flights and 70 incoming flights were cancelled, while dozens of others were flagged with delays. AFP PHOTO BELGA PHOTO ERIC VIDAL (Photo credit should read ERIC VIDAL/AFP via Getty Images)

    (Picture: AFP)

    The Bulletin reported that Brussels Airlines had actually currently flown 3,000 unneeded flights.

    Belgium’s transportation minister, Georges Gilkinet, has actually composed to the European Commission prompting it to loosen up the slot guidelines, arguing the repercussions run counter to the EU’s carbon-neutral aspirations.

    The existing lowered quotas were presented in March in 2015 in a nod to the difficulty airline companies were dealing with from a 2nd year of Covid.

    In December, the commission stated the 50% limit would be raised to 64% for this year’s April- to-November summertime flight season.

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    ‘Despite our urgings for more flexibility at the time, the EU approved a 50 percent-use rule for every flight schedule/frequency held for the winter. This has clearly been unrealistic in the EU this winter against the backdrop of the current crisis’, a spokesperson for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) stated.

    He included that the commission required to reveal more ‘flexibility… given the significant drop in passengers and impact of Omicron numbers on crewing planned schedules’.

    But a commission representative on Wednesday stated the EU executive thought ‘the overall reduced consumer demand… is already reflected in a much-reduced rate of 50 percent compared to the usual 80 percent-use rate rule’.

    The representative, Daniel Ferrie, stated: ‘The Commission expects that operated flights follow consumer demand and offer much needed continued air connectivity to citizens.’

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