Germany: Flight shaming ′not to blame′ for drop in domestic fliers | News | DW | 25.01.2020
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Germany: Flight shaming 'not to blame' for drop in domestic fliers

The number of passengers taking domestic German flights has fallen for the second year in a row. The industry says the drop is not due to environmental concerns despite a Swedish campaign of flight shaming or "flygskam."

For the second year in a row, the number of passengers on German domestic flights has declined, according to data from the German Airports Association (ADV), as reported by the news service Tagesschau on Saturday.

The number of domestic passengers in 2019 fell by 1.9% from the year before to 47.1 million. In 2018, passenger figures fell by 0.8%

Figures have dropped continually since August last year, the association said. 

Read more: To fly or not to fly? The environmental cost of air travel

The number of passengers on domestic flights in 2019 was just 1% greater than the figure from a decade ago.

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Meager growth internationally

The number of passengers on international connecting flights was up, though growth has slowed.

Last year, 244.3 million passengers made international connections in Germany, an increase of 1.5% over the year before, the slowest growth in six years.

The ADV said a strike by Germanwings pilots at the end of 2019 was partly responsible for the low figures. 

Higher costs and greater competition also played a role, they said. Some airlines, like Easyjet, Ryanair, and Eurowings, reduced the number of flights offered last year. 

A slowing global economy and high oil prices also had an effect.

Not due to 'flight shaming'

The ADV said the drop in passengers was not related to increased concern over the link between climate change and CO2 emissions from flying, so-called flight shaming.

"Negative influences are growing," the association had said in December, referring to troubles within the industry and global economic trends. 

The German Aviation Association (BDL) told DW there were two reasons for the drop in domestic passenger demand.

"The first is the cooling global economy — declining global trade and trade conflicts. Secondly, the insolvencies of Germania and Air Berlin," BDL said in a statement, adding that excess capacity from both airlines had been withdrawn from the market.

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Frankfurt Airport reported the greatest number of total passengers of any German airport last year, serving just over 70 million, followed by the airports in Munich, Dusseldorf, and Berlin's Tegel.

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