HomeNewsNumber of 'Ghost Flights' out of UK Tops 5,000 Mark

Number of ‘Ghost Flights’ out of UK Tops 5,000 Mark

The number of so-called “ghost flights” operating out of UK airports has passed the 5,000 mark since 2019, Travel Mole has reported.

These flights rocketed in numbers during the worst of the pandemic restrictions, with planes still flying usual routes with few or no passengers on board in order to either keep airport slots or escape having to pay refunds to customers as no flight was cancelled.

Travel Mole said Heathrow Airport saw more than 660 ghost flights either leave or depart to/from the US during one quarter during the pandemic.

Some flights are empty, with some filling just 10% of their seats.

The practice has been heavily criticised by environmental groups for adding to air pollution and emissions.

“Publication of this data is a step in the right direction, but we need more transparency to understand why these inefficient, polluting practices continue, and to hold the main airline culprits to account,” said Tim Johnson at the UK Aviation Environment Federation.

“Given the climate emergency, the revelation that so many near empty planes have been burning fossil fuels in the atmosphere is pretty shocking.”

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.
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