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EU. Parliamentary question on climate crisis and ghost flights

By Laura Ferrara and Mario Furore

"Parliamentary questions

12 January 2022 

Priority question for written answer P-000141/2022 to the Commission Rule 138 

Laura Ferrara (NI), Mario Furore (NI) 

Subject: climate crisis and ghost flights

In the last few days, German-based airline Lufthansa has said that in January it would be operating 18,000 flights without any passengers except the crew.

It claims it is forced to do so by EU aviation rules which oblige carriers to use at least 80% of their slots or lose them to other airlines.

Lufthansa’s determination to do whatever it takes to hold onto its competitive advantage comes at a heavy climatic and environmental cost, with huge amounts of greenhouse gases and pollutants emitted into the atmosphere for no reason other than to serve the interests of a single private company.

In Spring 2020, the 80% rule was suspended throughout Europe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rule was reinstated last year, though, with the threshold lowered to 50%.

In March, however, the transition period during which EU rules oblige airlines to operate at least 50% of flights on every route will end and the threshold will rise to 64%.
In view of this:

1 Does the Commission intend to adjust the transport package to reflect the new restrictions linked to the rise in Omicron cases?

2 What other action is it planning to take to put a stop to these harmful practices and curb the use of fossil fuels?

Last updated: 17 January 2022". 

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