The climate pays for our discount flight tickets

post by : miriam.fux

The climate pays for our discount flight tickets

Flying is one of the biggest contributors to CO2 emission. For example, if you consider an environmentally conscious vegetarian, who only travels by bicycle, is just causing 3,3 tons of CO2 per year (footprint). However, after taking one short or long flight, the footprint increases to 8 tons.

In the last 20 years the number of passengers have doubled worldwide. Considering only the airports in Switzerland, they counted 54,9 million passengers in 2017. This is 73% more than in 2005.

A reason why so many people are flying, are the discount tickets. For instance, a flight from Zürich to New York incl. the return flight only costs CHF 585.50.-. No wonder everybody is in travel fever. However, why are the flight tickets so cheap? 

The aviation industry benefits from special privileges for decades and these are still legal. In fact these privileges were made to boost the economy in the 1950s. The aviation industry do not have to pay any CO2 tax, furthermore in the flight tickets is no VAT included and by international flights, kerosene is completely tax free

If we would add all these taxes and fees, the flight ticket would cost in total CHF 1228.90.- (from Zürich to New York). That means, that this long distance flight from Zürich to New York should be 2.1x more expensive.

On this account the UN aviation organisation ICAO (International Civil Aviation) decided to introduce the global CO2 compensations system CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) for protecting the climate.

However, for now it is still optional for the airlines to participate in this program. Moreover the international aviation is enormous growing and will use kerosene for some time. The FOCA (Federal Office of Civil Aviation)-Speaker Urs Holderegger sais, that from 2021 the CORSIA-System will compensate the CO2 growth. In any case this system won’t slowdown the growth of flying.

To sum up, it is a positive approach from the aviation industry to address the environmental issues and to try to solve it globally. Moreover without any political actions, the number of passenger will still immensely increase.




TIA Presentation.pdf


Eiholzer, Jasmin - 701_e (2018); Fux, Miriam - 701_e (2018)


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