What are the disadvantages of an airplane

Pros and cons: cheap flights - tempting or reprehensible?

Pros and cons: cheap flights - tempting or reprehensible?

Does it make sense to take a quick flight to Mallorca or London over a long weekend? Opinions are divided about this.

Pro: Even those with little money should be allowed to travel

Anyone who demonizes cheap flying forgets: There are people who have a need for it - it's a matter of fairness. Anyone who kicks in on the fight against cheap aviation ignores the fact that in completely different places just as much, if not more, could be done for the environment.

The advantages of the airplane over other means of transport need not be mentioned here. They are substantial. It is often the case that a flight connection makes a trip possible in the first place. Otherwise, certain places would not be accessible, or at least not within a reasonable period of time.

And it is precisely this opportunity that low-income people and families should have. It should also be possible for them to visit friends and relatives abroad. This is possible thanks to cheap flights. To demonize them in principle is therefore the wrong approach.

Anyone who argues with ecological facts must be consistent. From this point of view, it is also necessary to do without other, comparably large climate killers, such as driving a car or consuming meat. Because we do these things out of convenience or we hold them up because we consider them to be our well-deserved standard of living - just like cheap flights. Instead of bans and rules, the following also applies here: Society needs to be sensitized à la: The crowd makes the poison. Fun and renunciation should be balanced. Don't always fly, but sometimes.

In this way, there is still an economic interest in making aircraft more economical or even “green”. Because kerosene is expensive, the incentives to use renewable energies instead are great. Such ideas and technologies can only be pursued and developed as long as there is financial motivation for them. And that's called airline passengers.

By the way, there are means of transport that are in no way inferior to airplanes in terms of pollution. For example, cruise ships that burn tons of environmentally harmful bunker oil. The environmental balance of each person transported is at least as bad as that of airplanes. Cheap flights beat luxury cruises.

Cons: The cheap flight to Palma is not a human right

Flying is bad for the climate, every child knows that. It would therefore make sense not to take the cheap flight to London at the weekend, but rather the bike to the lake. But the world is too beautiful to be left to the responsibility of the consumer. That is why the state has to make flying more expensive.

Of course, it's practical: 100 francs for a plane ticket to Paris, Palermo or Palma. For little money you can explore foreign cities or flee south from the autumn fog. If it weren't for the climate: Air traffic is responsible for around 15 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted in Switzerland, and the trend is rising. Quite a lot, considering that most air travel is fun.

The solution to the problem seems simple: fly less. Hiking holidays in Kandersteg are better for the planet than beach holidays in Corfu. So do we all have to question our habits? Listen to our conscience before we book a flight for 39.90 euros? In short: consume more environmentally conscious?

Maybe. But that's not enough. It is also not enough for airlines to offer a voluntary climate tax when buying a ticket or to collect donations for Unicef ​​on the side. In addition to the ticket, they sell a little karma, a little forgiveness, a little peace of mind from a guilty conscience. That doesn't help, it's just the smiling mask in front of the grimace of unregulated capitalism. Gruesome.

Flying has to get more expensive. As long as the train to Berlin costs twice as much as the flight, there is no financial incentive to switch to the train. What to do? Increase the incentive. How? With taxes. Aviation has benefited from tax exemption worldwide since the Chicago Agreement of 1944. It's as outdated as a ban on dancing at Easter.

Demands for a kerosene tax and a ticket levy, as recently deposited by various interest groups with the Federal Council, are therefore going in the right direction: You have to tax flying and use the income to promote long-distance trains. For the sake of the planet. And the legroom of the passengers.