UK empty ‘ghost flights’ surpass 5,000 since 2019

The number of so-called “ghost flights” at UK airports since 2019 has surpassed 5,000.

It is ‘pouring kerosene on the fires’ of climate change, environmental groups say.

These are empty passenger flights while35,000 flights have operated almost empty with under 10% of seats occupied, Civil Aviation Authority data found.

In one quarter during the pandemic, Heathrow Airport had 663 almost-empty flights to or from the US.

Busy airports have operated a ‘use it or lose it policy meaning airlines may have to fly at a loss to maintain slots

Campaigners say there needs to be more transparency on why the number is so high

“Publication of this data is a step in the right direction, but we need more transparency to understand why these inefficient, polluting practices continue, and to hold the main airline culprits to account,” said Tim Johnson at the Aviation Environment Federation.

“Given the climate emergency, the revelation that so many near empty planes have been burning fossil fuels in the atmosphere is pretty shocking.”

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