Cheap “10 euro flights across Europe” must come to an end if the world is to tackle climate change, a Green party MEP has said.
In 2017 the aviation sector accounted for 3.8% of EU emissions and Dublin MEP Ciaran Cuffe says if we are to cut that figure then ticket prices must rise:
“I think the bigger picture is that we’re in a climate emergency, we have to take action,” he told The Hard Shoulder.
“One of the first things that we can do is fly less and I think with the rise of teleworking in this COVID era we’ve all learnt how to do that and how to do that successfully.
“And I think we simply cannot go on with €10 flights to halfway across Europe while the planet is burning.
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In his role as an MEP, Mr Cuffe often takes the train between various European cities and says it is a far better way to travel than jumping on a plane:
“I work from Brussels a lot and I hope to go to a conference in Vienna in May and I will simply hop on a night train, get onto the train, get into a [cabin], fall asleep and wake up refreshed in Vienna," he said.
“Alternatively, I could take a two hour flight and for a journey like that it [the train] is a sensible alternative with a much lower carbon footprint.”
However, Pat Byrne, the founder and chair of Cityjet, was not convinced that train travel was feasible for people with busy working lives:
“Have you tried working on a train?” he said sceptically.
“Have you tried working on the train going from London to Paris? London to Brussels?”
“An overnight train is not exactly cheap and there’s also a decrease since 2010 in the number of overnight trains, so they’re not that easy to avail of.”
Main image: Ryanair planes parked up at Dublin Airport. Picture by: RollingNews.ie