Our skies are full of empty planes. European airlines have been running near-empty flights in order to retain valuable airport slots, drawing sharp criticism from climate activists as the coronavirus outbreak dramatically reduces passenger demand.
A so-called “use-it-or-lose-it” rule, enshrined under EU law, states airlines must fly 80% of their flights on a slot in order to safeguard their presence at major hubs for the next season. It has led to a situation whereby many airlines are thought to be operating so-called “ghost planes” with almost no passengers onboard.
“It’s absurd to fly empty planes and cause planet-heating emissions that are completely unnecessary,” Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace U.K.
The European Parliament on Thursday, March 26, will decide on the European Commission’s proposal to stop the so-called ghost flights caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
The global aviation industry produces around 2% of all human-induced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Worldwide, flights produced 915 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019. Aviation is responsible for 12% of CO2 emissions from all transports sources, comared to 74% from road transport.
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