The UK has been revealed as the top destination for private jet flights in Europe in a new analysis commissioned by Greenpeace.
It showed that a private jet took off from this country every six minutes last year, and that the UK can claim the busiest route, the most polluting route and the most flights overall.
The analysis reveals that the number of private jets taking off from the UK increased by a staggering 75% in 2022 to 90,256 flights that emitted half a million tonnes of CO2 – more than in any other European country.
The analysis found that within Europe, the UK has the most private flights, and that the emissions of private jets in the UK were the highest in Europe.
Flights between London and Paris were the most popular route accounting for 3,357 flights. Six of the top 10 routes also included London.
The journey of less than five miles between Farnborough and Blackbushe in Hampshire is the most carbon-intensive route.
‘Private jets are staggeringly polluting and generally pointless. Many of these journeys can be covered almost as quickly by train, and some of them by bicycle. Millions of people around the world are facing climate chaos, losing livelihoods or worse, while a tiny minority are burning jet fuel like there’s no tomorrow. If the government is serious about net zero and a fair transition to low-carbon transport then private jets should be first on the chopping block.’
Policy director at Greenpeace UK
The research, conducted by Dutch environmental consultancy CE Delft, found that private jet traffic across Europe has soared from 350,000 flights in 2021 to over 570,000 in 2022.
The associated CO2 emissions more than doubled over the same period to over 3.3 million tonnes.
Almost one in four (39%) private jet flights in Europe were considered ‘very short-haul’ meaning that they were less than 500km and could easily have been train trips.
‘The alarming growth of private jet flights is entirely at odds with all the climate science that tells us to bring down CO2 emissions immediately in order to avert total disaster. The new IPCC report shows more clearly than ever that we have to cut the excessive consumption of fossil fuels urgently. Over 60% of the oil used globally is for transport. Reducing oil-powered transport immediately is a no-brainer, starting with a ban on ultra-polluting private jets.’
KLARA MARIA SCHENK
Transport campaigner for Greenpeace’s Mobility for All campaign
As the most polluting mode of transportation on the planet per passenger kilometre, Greenpeace is calling for a ban on private jet travel.
The analysis also considered the ‘carbon intensity’ of different routes, measured as CO2 output divided by distance, to work out the least efficient routes.
In both 2021 and 2022, the 7.4km (4.6 mile) flight between Blackbushe and Farnborough topped the rankings as Europe’s most carbon-intensive route. It takes less than 30 minutes to cycle between the two airports.