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Friday, October 30, 2020

Climate activists condemn ‘fantasy flying’ trends started by airlines

Climate activists say these 'flights to nowhere' put a lot of unnecessary pressure on the environment

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | September 21, 2020 8:00:10 pm
fantasy flights, flying to nowhere, Qantas, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, flights to nowhere, environmental activists, indian express news'If that’s the society we’ve built, where we’re that addicted to flying, then we have a serious problem.' (Representational image/Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Of late, the trend of hopping on to a flight and not really going anywhere — so as to give passengers the thrill of flying, without risking exposure to high-infected places — is being discussed a lot. Recently, Australian airline Qantas had announced its plan for a seven-hour scenic flight to nowhere. In a social media post, Qantas had announced that it would fly by Uluru, Kata Tjuta, the Whitsundays, Gold Coast, Byron Bay and Sydney Harbour. In fact, the flight — that is due to depart from the Sydney Domestic Airport on October 10 and return seven hours later — was booked in a matter of a few minutes.

Before that Taiwan’s Civil Aviation Administration had organised a fantasy flight to nowhere, wherein the flight didn’t take off, and the engines didn’t start. Yet, some 66 passengers boarded the flight. They were required to check-in, following which they were given their boarding passes. They had to pass through security and immigration, before they were allowed to board the flight.

The Guardian reports that some time last month, the Taiwanese airline EVA had launched a Hello Kitty-themed flight that had taken off from Taipei and had landed back there in three hours. Japanese airline ANA also plans to run two 90-minute ‘Hawaiian experience flights’ in October, and Singapore Airlines is reportedly planning to launch some no-destination flights by the end of October.

But this new fantasy flying trend has irked climate activists who have condemned it saying it puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on the environment.

“We’ve got to get our heads around the fact that flying can’t be emissions-free anytime soon,” Mark Carter of campaign group ‘Flight Free Australia’ was quoted as saying by The Guardian. He added that passengers on board the Qantas flight will be increasing their annual emissions by 10 per cent in seven hours.

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“Our home is on fire. At a time when all industries need to be urgently reducing their emissions massively, Qantas’s ‘sustainability’ claims of offsetting flight emissions is a scam that allows their emissions to continue on the back of buying the reductions of others. It’s like agreeing to pour a bucket of petrol on the burning house for every bucket of water you throw,” he said.

Anna Hughes, the director of Flight Free UK, meanwhile, told the outlet: “I understand why they are doing it – but it really is insanity – a flight to nowhere is simply emissions for the sake of it. If that’s the society we’ve built, where we’re that addicted to flying, then we have a serious problem.”

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