Use it or lose it rules on airport slots are requiring hundreds of thousands of empty planes to fly around Europe

It is thought that at least 100,000 flights with empty planes have been flown during the epidemic. These are referred to as ghost flights.

These flights have had to go ahead for airlines to retain their landing slots in major airports. The issue, is that these empty flights are thought to have emitted at least 2.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. These rules by the EU commission must change. It is absurd to suggest that this emissions could not have been avoided.

Granted, many of these airline routes perhaps should not exist anyway as the distance can be travelled quickly by train but that is a different issue.

When the pandemic began, the benchmark for flight operation was cut from 80% to 25% but in December 2020 this was increased to 50% and in March to 64%.

Surely, this is the lowest hanging fruit in terms of cutting emissions? The UK has extremely similar rules, with 50% use required up to now, rising to 70% in the near future.

How insane is that! We need to be cutting air travel anyway; as a result this would have been a perfect chance to start this process.

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