Rich people fleeing European airport chaos via private jets
The chaos at European airports this summer means that the wealthy people on the planet are taking matters into their own hands. The use of private jets has increased by almost a third in recent months from pre-coronavirus levels.
The private jets usually set course for the well-known holiday islands such as Ibiza or Mykonos. Those extra flights put pressure on the capacity of the airports. In France, this has even led to political resistance.
While London registered the most private flights –– in July alone, there were more than 12,000 flights –– Schiphol reported the largest increase in private traffic compared to 2019 of the larger airports, together with Naples and Berlin. This is according to data collected by the European Business Aviation Association.
Due to the lifting of the coronavirus restrictions, there is a high demand for airline tickets. In combination with the staff shortages at airports, because companies have let staff go during the coronavirus pandemic, this has put a lot of pressure on airports. Several airlines reduced the number of flights and the capacity was also cut at Schiphol to combat the chaos.
According to aviation consultancy WingX, the number of people flying a private jet for the first time has increased by 40 percent, especially because airlines don't have their affairs in order. According to Aeroaffaires, a network of private jet airlines in Europe, private jets are also being booked earlier and earlier. Previously, a booking two days in advance was more than enough. Now, private jets must be booked at least a week in advance.
The rapid increase in flights with private jets has caused a stir in France because the considerable carbon emissions hamper the country's efforts to meet the climate targets. Transport Secretary Clement Beaune wants to require private jets to disclose flight details. He also wants to draw up guidelines for the use of private jets if trains or scheduled flights are also available on that route.
Celebrities, royals and other private jet users are also under fire in the United Kingdom. With the rising cost of living, which mainly affects the lower and middle classes, the proliferation of private jets has become a major point of economic contradiction in the country.
Schiphol has been suffering from understaffing and unmanageable crowds since this spring. Travelers have been forced to line up for hours outside to wait for security and many have missed their flights. Airlines also had to cancel hundreds of flights to cope with the chaos.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times