Thu. Aug 22nd, 2019

Air travelers encouraged to shift to other modes of transport

The 16-years old Greta Thunberg who is a Swedish climate activist, protests in Stockholm during the Global Strike for Future movement on a global day of student marches targeting to spark world leaders into action on Jonathan Nackstrand.

Every summer, at Paris or Farnborough the aviation world gathers alternately for the annual major airshow, to do a discussion about novel products & gauge the industry’s health.  Paris show in June was not completely pleased given the troubles with Boeing’s 737 MAX & other concerns, but at least the strategic trends are very positive i.e. people are interested in flying. But one non-attendee cast a long shadow: a 16-year-old girl Greta Thunberg.

Miss Thunberg heads a youthful movement targeted at fighting against global warming via ‘flight shaming’, a rather abrupt concept that has now words in Dutch, German, as well as, other languages. The aim is simply to get people to not fly, instead of taking the bus or train, or to omit travel completely.

According to the International Air Transport Association Till date, this movement has not shown a measurable impact on aggregate travel demand. For more than five years the industry has enjoyed above-trend growth numbers. The last few months have seen some unexpected weakness, but in 2018 there was a very healthy 6.5 percent jump over 2017 in revenue passenger kilometers. That precedes a 7.6 percent growth in 2017. The strategic sustainable trend has been stuck at around 5 percent Again, people have shown increasing interest in flying.

However, it is concerning how rapidly flight shaming is gaining traction, at least in public debate. Surprisingly, KLM this week posted this advice as part of a campaign on its website targeted at travelers who are about the environment. The post stated that explore other options for traveling. Like railway or other modes of transportation can be more sustainable than flying, particularly for short distances such as within Europe. Consider making video calls rather than meeting face to face.