18 thousand flights that might have been canceled due to a lack of volunteers had to take place. All because of regulations that forced carriers to fly. Otherwise, they would lose take-off and landing rights at major airports. What about the carbon footprint of these empty planes?
Brussels Airlines performed around 3,000 empty or nearly empty flights this winter alone. The airline’s parent company – Lufthansa – says about 18,000. such flights – reports “The Bulletin”. The Belgian government has therefore asked the European Commission to reconsider changing the rules on the use of airport slots.
It is the slots that provide the airline with the right to use the airports at certain times, and are introduced by airports with heavy traffic such as Heathrow or with a small number of parking spaces, ie the Greek islands. The slots are traded – one of them was paid for $ 75 million in 2016. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, there was a rule that the carrier must handle at least 80 percent. their planned take-offs and landings on pain of losing the right “to the airports”. As the coronavirus severely restricted travel, the rate was reduced to 50%. As it turns out, it is still much higher than the actual number of flights needed to meet the demand of travelers.
Lufthansa plans to cancel 33 thousand. scheduled flights until the end of March due to a decrease in omicron-related bookings.