Will we fly less?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

According to the European Investment Bank, those of living in Europe plan to fly less in 2020. The reason? Climate change.

passenger flight delay compensation
Will we fly less in 2020?

But do we mean it? Will we really not fly across the channel to our favourite destinations? Will Spain not see millions of us this coming summer? Or are we going to get to Spain and all those other holiday destinations in Europe by taking the train or coach instead?

I am sceptical.

That the survey by the bank was called the climate change survey might have shamed some responders into saying that they would fly less. Even if they were not told that name but just asked about reactions to climate change, surely guilt instincts – given all the media coverage of bushfires, storms and warming temperatures – would be enough for people to say they will fly less.

In fairness though, the survey was carried out before the bushfires began but after the summer 2019 demonstrations by groups like Extinction Rebellion.

Well do I remember a cartoon in the Times by Peter Brookes of Emma Thompson after attending an Extinction Rebellion protest in London jetting off to the USA. Practice what you preach was the theme and I don’t think that many of us will practice.

One reason is that only a smallish number of us fly more than once or twice a year anyway. Gone are the days when I flew across the Atlantic each month and then visited Australia and Germany as well in the same year. But I curtailed my flying because there was no business reason to do so.

We fly less because we are either economically unable to fly more often or because there is no need.

As I have written before, living on an island means that ferries are the only alternative and they are time consuming in getting us where we need to go. Overseas tourist boards are still going to work hard to attract us to their destination over another one. All will work to get us out of the UK rather than for us to opt for a staycations.

If the survey refers overwhelmingly to those living on mainland Europe, then it would be nice to think that they would mean it. Unless they plan to replace their flights with petrol or diesel powered cars rather than electric ones or public transport.  

Air passenger numbers have been consistantly growing in most parts of the world. What people wish to do and what they actually do makes me think there will still be an increase in the number of those flying when 2020 figures become available.

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