German-based airline Lufthansa ran 21,000 empty flights in the winter of 2021.
Why waste money on “ghost flights?”
The aviation governing bodies for the US (Federal Aviation Administration) and the EU (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) mandate that 80 percent of scheduled flights must depart and land at specific airports in order for airlines to maintain their spots at those airports. During the pandemic, this quota was lowered to 50 percent.
All airlines are forced to choose between flying planes with zero passengers or losing rights at certain airports. Either choice negatively impacts their profitability. If they don’t fly, they lose the valuable slot for the future.
Carbon emissions happen no matter how many people are on the plane. How much CO2 is uselessly released by these ghost flights? Calculations depend on type of aircraft, distance, and more, but the most thorough calculator we found is Carbon Independent.org. No matter how big or how small the number, there is no need for these emissions to be dumped in the air.
Let’s ask these governing bodies to examine the harmful practice of forcing empty planes to fly. Using our choice of social networks, consider asking your preferred airline how we can help them change this system. Your post could sound something like this:
EUASA and FAA: Ghost flights are responsible for tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. We know you don't want to fly empty planes and simultaneously destroy the planet. The Carbon Almanac Network, and the world, would love to hear your thoughts on how we might fix this problem.
Why the sky is still full of empty 'ghost' flights
Ghost flights from UK running at 500 a month, data reveals | Airline emissions | The Guardian.
Thousands of Planes Are Flying Empty and No One Can Stop Them | WIRED
Ghost flights: empty planes cross Europe to keep airport slots