Skip Navigation

Cheap transatlantic flights & the environment

Travel Forums General Talk Cheap transatlantic flights & the environment

1. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y

Today I heard on the news that the EU transport ministers are close to reaching an agreement with the US about far-reaching liberalisation of the transatlantic sky routes, which is expected to result in "a 30% increase of transatlantic commercial air traffic".

Though I'm all in favour of improving employment opportunities in Europe and the US, I found this quite shocking in the light of recent European concerns about the environment. Even more so, since not a single word has been said about how this new agreement relates to joined efforts in forcing back global CO2-emission.

Seems to me that, if this agreement is cast into a treaty without further improvements, air travellers themselves are now more responsible than ever to care for the environmental consequences of their ultra-mobility. What do you think?

2. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 9y

I think this is a worry but I'm not sure how you could get around it. Yet more tax on long-haul travel? Personal flight miles quotas?

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5597 posts) 9y

I heard the news as well. In addition, what was also said was that because of that liberalisation of transatlantic flying business, prices are going to drop major and it becomes attractive for budget airlines to fly the route(s) as well.
These kinda airlines fly from low cost airports as well, meaning less taxes in lots of cases.
The total price will certainly be much much lower of the consumer.
As there are lots of agreements (kyoto etc. etc.) on environmental issues regarding efforts that governments have to make, it's totally strange for me that an agreement like this is approved by that same government(s).
And indeed, that means that it becomes a responsbility of that same consumer. Last week I got my travelpapers, including a form for compensating the environmental damage I will cause. Total price would be 102 euro for me and my girlfriend. 51 euro extra tax if you can call it that way.
And then my toughts are going two ways: 'helping' to compensate the environment or 'helping' the government to pay. Because it's that last thing, just a tax you can choose to pay. But what is done with that money...are they actually going to compensate for the environment (planting trees motto..). I have big doubts about that.
It's the same as paying car taxes but don't see anything in better road conditions or sending money to tsunami countries which end up in a Toyota Landcruiser of Unicef.
Sorry, I like this world, but I have my own dignity as well.

4. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1384 posts) 9y

I would say Utrecht, Investigate it, and report back to us, what is done with money ...

England is already underway to getting a tax of planetickets, and I think the rest of Europe will follow soon. If the prices go down by 200 - 300 euros, and we get a tax for 50 to pay for efforts to eliminate the carbon emissions, I am in favour, as long as the money is going to be used in this way. On money for the tsunami areas, maybe you should ask Ahila, what they are doing with that money, as she is one of the people working on programms in that area.

5. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y

Quoting Herr Bert

If the prices go down by 200 - 300 euros, and we get a tax for 50 to pay for efforts to eliminate the carbon emissions, I am in favour, as long as the money is going to be used in this way.

Somehow I don't think that will ever be enough to compensate for the enormous increase in flights that this treaty is expected to cause. Call me a pessimist, but I fear that the only effective scenario would be to restrain further increase of commercial transatlantic air travel on the one hand, while on the other introducing higher environmental taxes for the current volume. I know that's isn't very likely to happen, but changing people's behaviour is really the only thing that may have some effect.

6. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1384 posts) 9y

Quoting bentivogli

Call me a pessimist,