Lufthansa Operates 18,000 Ghost Flights

The German national carrier ,Lufthansa, will have to operate 18,000 flights without passengers (Ghost Flights), in Europe during the coming months, to preserve its taking off and landing slots at airports.

While many European politicians consider flights harmful to the environment due to gas emissions, Lufthansa is forced to operate 18,000 empty flights this winter.

Generally speaking, airlines have a limited number of slots at airports, where their planes can take off and land, and follow precise instructions.

For example, air traffic regulations at European airports require that 80 percent of these slots be used for airlines as "fixed take-off and landing time".

In the event that airlines fail to operate flights in 80% of their allotted slots, this feature is lost immediately.

Due to the Covid-19 crisis and the restriction of air traffic, the European authorities decided to reduce the percentage to 50% during the flight schedule this winter, and if companies do not operate flights in 50% of these slots, they risk losing them.

Although Lufthansa recently canceled 33,000 round trips due to the epidemiological situation, it is forced to carry out 18,000 flights without passengers in the coming months to maintain the slots allocated to the German carrier at the European airports.

According to the company, these flights will not have any economic return, due to the tightening of entry procedures in many countries to confront the mutant Omicron.

Recently, a Lufthansa spokeswoman warned that the situation for airlines is very volatile, especially in light of the new variables of the Covid-19 and the constant change of travel restrictions.

The German "Travel Boat" website quoted the unnamed spokeswoman as saying that "the regulation that has been passed in Europe, carries the risk that airlines will have to travel with empty planes only to secure their own time windows," adding, "This harms the climate and airlines".

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