A potential ban on private jets? ✈️

3 min read

Labour has today announced they’re considering a ban on private jets in the UK following a report by Common Wealth think tank. The report highlights that a typical journey in a private jet (whilst undoubtedly relaxing) is kicking out 7 times more greenhouse gases than a business case flight, 10 times more than an economy flight and staggering 150 times more than a trip on a high-speed train!

128,000 private jet flights between the UK and European airports

The report highlights that there were 128,000 private jet flights between the UK and European airports last year, that’s the equivalent to 6 per cent of British air traffic, with another 14,000 flights to destinations outside Europe.

The report also found that 40 per cent of private jet flights were empty because they were being “repositioned” for their wealthy owners, a whooping 51,200 flights empty…

What does the future hold for private jets

The short term outlook is bleak for those who can’t live without their private jet but the report did highlight that private jets because of their smaller size and weight are an easier target for “electrification” in other words powered by electricity.

A governmental ban whilst inconvenient for the super-rich will likely speed up the pace of innovation and bring these electric jets to market quicker. The report states “As many as four out of five private jet journeys within Europe today are over distances that could in theory be completed by small fully electric aircraft currently in commercial development for market entry by the mid 2020s,”

Two sides of the argument

As you’d expect there are two sides to the argument Jonathan Clough, UK director of private aviation firm Jetfly, told City A.M.: “Banning private jets from British Airspace is not a cure to climate change.

“Government legislation which encourages the use of biofuels would be a sensible first step and further investment in new greener technologies.

“A lot of good comes from influential people meeting face to face to discuss the big issues of today and private aviation facilitates this quickly and safely.”

Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald countered: “Climate targets cannot be met without curbing pollution from air travel, and a passenger on a private jet produces ten times the emissions of someone on a regular flight. This simply cannot be ignored.

“In just a few years’ time it will be possible for these journeys to be made by electric aircraft – so long as government puts in place the right incentives.”

Personally we side with shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald on this one, a little bit of friction in the way of government policy will push the upper echelons of society to think twice about that private flight, curbing emissions and pushing those with the connections and capital to invest in making electric flights a reality sooner.

You can read the full report from Common Wealth here

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