Flying Blind Into Net-Zero

David Cavena30 Oct, 2023 2 Min Read
Stop making sense.

It seems that Lufthansa Group, Germany's premier aviation conglomerate, isn't going all-in on their quest to zero-out their carbon footprint, as is expected of them under their Fatherland's infamous Energiewende program. You'll remember die Energiewende (meaning energy transition, or turning point), of course: the series of environmentalist policies that have dominated German governance for the past couple of decades and which has resulted in that country arbitrarily decommissioning its nuclear reactors, reducing manufacturing capacity and living standards, and committing the country to spending seven trillion dollars through 2045 to achieve the unicorn of "green" living, net-zero.

We know that Lufthansa isn't pulling its weight because Brussels Airlines, a Lufthansa Group member, is flying tens of thousands of empty planes through takeoffs and landings, the most fuel- (carbon) – intensive portion of any flight.

Brussels Airlines has operated 3,000 flights without passengers this winter to avoid losing take-off and landing slots. The airline’s parent company, Lufthansa Group, confirmed that 18,000 flights had been flown empty, including 3,000 Brussels Airlines services, reports The Bulletin... As a result of Lufthansa Group’s latest figures, the Belgian federal government has written to the European Commission, calling for a change to the rules on maintaining slots

Why? To avoid losing take-off and landing slots, permissions granted by the airport operator to use airport services and to land or takeoff at particular times.  Airport slots are like shelf space in retail -- without them a vendor can't use the airport or sell Bud Light. In the E.U.:

The slots are allocated solely by independent coordinators and airlines must use 80 percent of their allocated slots, or risk losing them in the years following. This is known as the "use it or lose it" rule.

So airlines fly tens of thousands of empty, "ghost" flights to not lose their E/U.-regulated airport slots, while outputting tons of greenhouse gases that run counter to E.U. "climate change" policies.

Team Zero insist that airlines are responsible for significant amounts of carbon. Yet, for purposes of regulation, tens of thousands of takeoffs and landings, the most carbon-intensive part of any flight, are being done for political reasons entirely outside of, and in opposition to, political climate goals.

Not to mention the airline's own self-stated goals. The home page of the Lufthansa Group boasts a program “Shaping the Future as a Green Mobility Trainee,” to further their commitment to Team Zero, on which we find:

To achieve our ambitious goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050 and cutting our net carbon emissions in half by 2030 compared to 2019, the Lufthansa Group is continuously implementing a wide range of innovative measures.

Flying thousands of empty planes would seem the antithesis of this.

David Cavena is a native southern Californian exfiltrated to Arizona. An IT professional for 40 years, he has pushed cows in California, dudes and horses in Wyoming, and programmers in Los Angeles and Phoenix. An avid outdoorsman – skier, backpacker, water skier and scuba diver – David writes from Arizona.


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One comment on “Flying Blind Into Net-Zero”

  1. As long as you recite the proper bromides and platitudes you're golden; behavior is less important.

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