Sustainability drive means EU must act on ghost planes

Following EU Commission President Ursula van der Leyen’s statement that the EC is looking to introduce temporary measures to curb the use of ghost planes;

Nick Wyatt, Head of R&A and Travel & Tourism at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the situation:

“Given ambitious carbon emissions targets, it is absurd that airlines are forced to fly empty or near-empty planes between airports purely to make sure they don’t lose valuable slots as demand for air travel falls.

“The practice flies in the face of government green initiatives across Europe, unnecessarily burning fuel and creating carbon emissions. The Commission needs to act so van der Leyen’s statement is welcome news. However, any temporary measures, including a potential suspension of the ’80:20 use it or lose it rule’ must be delivered rapidly.

“Emissions created by these flights can be erased altogether and associated fuel cost savings will also be warmly welcomed by airlines at this extremely trying time.

“This practice is a result of necessity rather than choice. Slots can change hands for great sums of money in the secondary market, so it’s perfectly understandable that airlines are protecting them.

“Airlines have been targeted by environmental protesters, sometimes with merit, but here, they need a helping hand from the authorities. The signs are promising but we now need to see clear action from Brussels.”

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