Earlier in the month we reported on the “flights to nowhere” trend that airlines have recently been partaking in. While the idea was somewhat exciting at the time, and probably even more so at the beginning of the pandemic, environmental campaigners have begun to question the necessity of these trips, and condemn their actual impacts on the environment.
Initially created as a way to appease certain travelers’ anxiety about not being able to travel due to the coronavirus, these flights that sold out in a record breaking 10-minute span are beginning to raise some questions.
Singapore Airlines, who had proposed some of these “flights to nowhere” has cancelled the flights after criticism from environmental campaigners. Back in September, the airline was planning to offer three-hour sightseeing trips that would take off and land in Singapore’s Changi Airport. However, after many airlines have done it, this proposal has faced a backlash from environmental scientists and campaigners that said in a statement: “We do not agree with the proposed ‘flights to nowhere’ initiative for two reasons: First, it encourages carbon-intensive travel for no good reason and second, it is merely a stop-gap measure that distracts from the policy and value shifts necessary to mitigate the climate crisis. This initiative is symptomatic of a culture that makes consumers responsible for deep-rooted, structural problems. In reality, the onus should be on SIA executives and policymakers to pivot towards more sustainable and equitable alternatives for its customers and staff.”
All these flights really do shed a lot of emissions into the environment—something that we desperately do not need to do right at this time when we are facing one of the biggest environmental challenges in years.
Photo via Reuters/Lindsey Wasson