More private jets take off from Schiphol, Rotterdam The Hague; Greenpeace calls for ban
The number of flight movements involving private jets at Schiphol and Rotterdam The Hauge Airport increased significantly this year compared to pre-pandemic 2019. Greenpeace calls for a ban on private flights, which have much higher CO2 emissions per passenger kilometer than commercial flights.
According to a study by CE Delft, commissioned by Greenpeace, there were 16,147 private flights to and from Schiphol and Rotterdam The Hague Airport in the first nine months of 2022, emitting 56 kilotons of CO2. That is already more than the 14,672 private flights in the entire 2019, which emitted 61 kilotons of CO2.
Greenpeace is “appalled that a certain group - businesses, the government, and wealthy individuals - are flying not less, but more in this time of climate crisis,” Dewi Zloch, campaign manager at the environmental organization, said to RTL Nieuws. “And also with private jets, which are the most polluting.”
The average distance private jets cover to and from these two Dutch airports is 1,180 kilometers. Almost 11 percent of the flights are shorter than 250 kilometers, and nearly 35 percent are shorter than 500 kilometers.
The most popular routes are Amsterdam-London, Rotterdam-London, Amsterdam-Paris, Amsterdam-Nice, and Amsterdam Cannes. “Most routes also have frequent connections with commercial aircraft,” the researchers said. “For the most popular destinations from Amsterdam (London and Paris), switching from private to commercial flights could achieve a CO2 reduction of approximately 80 percent.” They also pointed out that high-speed trains that are almost CO2-neutral run on this route.
Greenpeace specifically mentioned Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen. According to the environmental organization, his private aircraft flew several times between Cannes and Nice in the south of France - a distance of 25 kilometers. Shell also got a special mention - the oil and gas giant's corporate jet made 183 flights, 130 of which were shorter than 500 kilometers.
Earlier this month, RTL Nieuws also reported that the government used its private plane much more often this year than before the pandemic. The government plane made at least 56 flights in the first eight months of 2022. That is significantly more than the 43 flights in the same period of 2019 and 33 in 2018.
CE Delft also pointed out that commercial airlines can significantly cut their CO2 emissions per passenger kilometer simply by converting their business class to economy class. “Depending on the aircraft type, 11-28% more passengers would fit on a KLM aircraft if economy class seats replace the business class. This would lead to reductions in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption per passenger of 10 to 22%.”