Air traffic has decreased by 70 percent since March 2020

Air traffic has been severely restricted worldwide since the outbreak of the corona crisis. In Austria, according to figures from Verkehrsclub Österreich (VCÖ), this has decreased by around 70 percent since March 2020 (until February 2021). The strongest slumps were in April and May, each with more than 90 percent. The VCÖ calls for an exit from fossil kerosene and more cross-border rail connections.

“The past twelve months brought the strongest and longest lasting decline in aviation since 1945,” said the VCÖ in a broadcast. Travel must now be brought on “climate course” and should not fall back into the time before the corona crisis, according to VCÖ expert Ulla Rasmussen. The potential for shifting travel to rail is great, but more cross-border rail connections are needed. The VCÖ sees the EU in particular as having an obligation to continue expanding the infrastructure.

At the same time, air traffic must switch from kerosene to emission-free drives more quickly. But this requires “clear political guidelines and objectives”, as well as a “pricing of the climate effects in air traffic”, said Rasmussen.

After the massive drops in April and May, flights were again in greater demand in the summer of 2020. In August and September, according to VCÖ, air traffic fell by around 50 percent each, in July it was minus 60 percent.

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