Thursday, 7 May 2020

300 million air passengers per year in and out of the UK

Earlier this week I was interviewed on KMTV about air pollution during the lockdown but we got onto holidays and flying. What did I think about people returning to having holidays abroad? My answer was that in the face of climate change, flying to any holiday destination is completely bonkers.

Firstly with climate change and air pollution killing far more people than covid, why are we allowing any unnecessary flights at all? Ever again?

Virgin and BA are reducing their capacity and cutting jobs (my sympathies with those who are losing their jobs - a decent government would be investing in green and sustainable industries for you to work in). I hope that we move from governments wanting airport expansion to wanting airport contraction but I know that is just a pipe dream.

I was astounded to learn that 15,000 people a day are arriving by plane every day during this lockdown; and they are not screened. This seemed a staggering number to me, even high for non-covid times. My knowledge of the number of passengers was clearly out of line by a few orders of magnitude...

The business as usual number of air passengers pre-covid for the UK was around 300 million - that is almost a million people flying in, out or around the UK every day as well as being almost five flights a year for every person in the UK.

Excuse me for thinking the world has gone stark raving mad.

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