‘Ghost’ Planes Continue To Fly Amid COVID-19 Outbreak Despite Massive Waste Of Fuel And Resources

As flights continue to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, many airlines are flying empty planes to maintain their spots at major international airports. These ‘ghost’ planes continue to fly despite being practically empty because if they do not occupy their given slots 80% of the time, they risk losing it indefinitely. If an airline does not reach this threshold, the slots are put back into a pool and allocated to other carriers.

EU policy leaves airlines with no option

This slot allotment is an EU policy that explicitly states that airlines must use their allotment of slots or begin to lose them. A major reason for this long-standing EU policy is to ensure a degree of fairness for smaller airlines and prevent monopolization of slots by established organisations. 

Cook Islands

This current system has led to ‘hoarding’ and places unnecessary pressure on an airline to continue to fly their planes even when unnecessary. The COVID-19 outbreak serves as an example of this situation. Despite being nearly empty, carriers like Virgin Atlantic have continued to fly to occupy their spots at major ‘hubs.’ 

Waste of fuel, environmentally damaging 

This is being deemed as wasteful and extremely unsustainable. The negative environmental implications of flying unnecessary planes are fairly obvious. Airlines are lobbying for this EU policy to be done away with at this crucial time. They want their slots to remain secure until they are able to operate normally again. Flying these ‘ghost planes’ is a  massive waste of fuel and other resources, and airlines are already struggling with decreasing passenger numbers. 

The European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “The coronavirus outbreak has a major impact on the European and international aviation industry. We see that the situation is deteriorating on a daily basis, and traffic is expected to decline further. And this is why the commission will put forward very rapidly legislation regarding the so-called airport slots,” she said. “We want to make it easier for airlines to keep their airport slot, even if they do not operate flights in those slots, because of the declining traffic,” she added.

While this official statement comes as some respite, a specific course of action to alter the slot policy has not been put in place yet. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


More Articles Like This

More from the Author

Exotic Getaways With The Residence By Cenizaro

With the new Forever Yours campaign, The Residence by Cenizaro invites families to create memories that will last a lifetime. Following a...

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Unveils First Wyndham Grand in Mexico

Through a franchising arrangement with Grupo Cancun, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has announced the upcoming opening of Wyndham Grand Cancun All-Inclusive Resort...

Kempinski Expands Presence In North America

The newest five-star hotel from Kempinski Hotels has white sand beaches and an ocean that is as clear as glass. In September...

Transportation In Japan

Japan is famous for its reliable and fast transportation network. The country boasts a great, efficient transportation system to take you almost...