Lufthansa Has To Fly 18,000 Empty Flights Just To Keep Take-Off and Landing Rights! Huge Waste Of Energy

Blackout News here reports on how one European carrier has to waste an outrageous amount of energy – just to be able to keep its take-off and landing rights.

Symbol photo: Source: Bobmil42 – own work, CC BY 3.0

According to Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, Lufthansa has to operate 18,000 empty or almost empty flights in almost all other parts of the world during the pandemic, but not in the EU.

“Now he fears that this will also be the case in the summer flight schedule,” reports Black Out News. In a nutshell, the EU rules force airlines to operate pointless but highly costly flights.

Black Out News adds:

The EU rules on air traffic stipulate that airlines must acquire time slots in advance in order to be allowed to fly to airports in the EU. This creates fierce competition between the various airlines. In the EU, the “use it or lose it” rule applies. The rule stipulates that at least 80 per cent of the booked slots must be used by the airline in question. If this limit is not reached, the airline concerned loses all access to them.

In the initial phase of the Corona pandemic, the European Commission had briefly lowered the minimum utilization level to 25 per cent. Currently, a value of 50 per cent applies. However, according to the airlines, there are already many empty flights at this level. However, the EU Commission decided in December to raise the value to 64 per cent by March.

Germany is currently raising energy prices in a bid to get people to reduce CO2 emissions, yet airlines are wasting hundreds of tons of jet fuel just to keep their landing rights!

Germans pay among the highest energy prices globally, and such senseless policies are only going to add further costs.

7 responses to “Lufthansa Has To Fly 18,000 Empty Flights Just To Keep Take-Off and Landing Rights! Huge Waste Of Energy”

  1. Shoki Kaneda

    Government involvement in business is almost never beneficial.

  2. oebele bruinsma

    Lufthansa is not the only one to suffer. This is all due to the stupid regulations emerging from the Brussels EU burocrats.

    1. Adam Gallon

      In normal times, sensible regulations, prevent the large airlines from buying up all the landing slots & squeeze their small rivals out.

  3. Jeremy Poynton

    Off topic.

    Paul – a relative? (Great quote from Russell)

    By David Gosselin
    “Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for a generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen.

    Bertrand Russell – The Impact of Science on Society (1951)

  4. D. Boss

    There is a factor not being considered when one takes this information at face value and then wishes to criticize this practice of “use it or loose it”.

    That is being a proficient pilot is also a VERY perishable skill that must have constant practice or it becomes degraded rapidly to the point of becoming dangerous! In fact there are rules about whether you can be the pilot in command or even first officer if it has been more than x days since you last flew in reality or on a simulator! (I believe it is like 30 or 45 days but it is not very long)

    So armed with this information, it not so “wasteful” to fly near empty planes. And then logically, you can grasp why airlines do not lobby heavily to stop this apparently wasteful practice – because it keeps pilots with current skills, keeps them proficient.

    The planes themselves decay and degrade if left sitting idle – far more so than if they are regularly flown.

    So hold off on misinformed judgement of this practice – there are upsides to maintaining a flight schedule even without many passengers. The downside of simply idling planes and pilots is far more potentially harmful regards safety than the image of a plane dumping fuel as at the top of this article! (which is only done again for safety reasons – a plane can take off with above the safe landing weight of fuel, so if for whatever reason it must land prematurely then it must either burn off excess fuel or dump it overboard as depicted in the above photo)

    1. bonbon

      All correct, but the point is that the EU Green Deal Fit for 55 is nuts. Of course planes must be kept running! So it is a valid question before TV camera’s for the EU geniuses to explain.

      Slots and Spots economics is a real circus!

  5. bonbon

    Follow the links to an explanation :
    It is the EU Green Deal, Fit for 55 – bBy 2030 55% less emissions than 1990.

    The question of where the Slots idea comes from is not answered.
    It looks like radical free-market (crazy competition for Slots) which is also driving Spot-Price energy madness in the EU.

    So combining the Green Deal with Enron-style radical free-market Slots and Spots will ironically deep six the Green Deal. What played out in TX, 2001.

    Trouble is, Enron left a $50 billion deficit crater, what will the EU leave?

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