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Flight Shaming and Greta Thunberg Are Impacting Air Traffic Growth

Flight Shaming and Greta Thunberg Are Impacting Air Traffic Growth
Jackie Reddy

Once the preserve of the wealthy and now a mundane mass market activity, a survey by UBS has revealed that concern over the environmental impacts of flying is having a real effect on the growth of the passenger aviation industry. Should the current trend continue, passenger growth could be halved.

With the passage of time, the act of flying has evolved from being the preserve of a wealthy few to a mundane mass market activity, but as the BBC reports, it would appear that air travelers are now beginning to think long and hard before booking their fares.

Citing a survey conducted by Switzerland-based bank UBS in July and August, the outlet reports that concerns over the environmental impact of flying are having a noticeable effect on the global aviation industry. Overall, it said that, “After surveying more than 6,000 people in the US, Germany, France and the UK, UBS found that 21 percent had reduced the number of flights they took over the last year.”

The survey also indicates that the awareness of the impact of flying on the environment–as raised by the likes of environmental activist Greta Thunberg–and the Swedish idea of flygskam, or flight shame, also have an impact on mass air travel.

According to these findings, 27% of those surveyed also said that they would consider reducing their flying habits for the sake of the environment.

The results of the survey further revealed that 24% of American travelers are concerned enough to rethink think about how and when they fly.

Should these trends continue, the passenger growth figures–which have been increasing between 4% and 5% a year–could be halved.

Offering her comments on the results, UBS analyst Celine Fornaro told Reuters, “With the pace of the climate change debate, we think it is fair to assume that these trends are likely to continue in developed markets.”

[Featured Image: Flickr/European Parliament]

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