ZURICH (Reuters) – Germany's airline Lufthansa ( LHAG.DE ) expects passenger numbers to rise by about 4% this year, said its CEO a newspaper and talked about public support for teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg may be on the way to air traffic.
FILE PHOTO: Carsten Spohr, CEO of German airline Lufthansa AG, speaks at the company's annual general meeting in Bonn, Germany, May 7, 2019. REUTERS / Wolfgang Rattay / Filfoto
"At this point we do not see restraint – in fact the opposite, said Carsten Spohr to the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag in the interview published on Sunday.
"Compared to last year, already a record year, we expect passenger growth of about 4 per cent, (Lufthansa unit). Swiss International Air Lines also shows growth. The discussion on climate change does not lead to limitations with orders. People will fly. "
Media reports have suggested that a" Greta effect "may curb the demand for air travel, referring to the 16-year-old who has received global attention for her efforts to convince people to reduce carbon emissions activities.
Saturday arranged a group of about 80 protesters a "Flight Strike" in Zurich airport near the facilities of Swiss International Air Lines, singing songs, handing out brochures and encouraging people to promise not to fly by 2020.  It was not arrested and the demonstration Spohr quoted figures from the International Energy Agency showing air travel producing 2.8% of man-made carbon dioxide.
He is frustrated that airlines are defensive over their contribution to climate change emissions.
" We have not succeeded in explaining that air traffic affects the world positively: We connect countries, economies and communities together, "Spohr, a trained pilot, said in a statement. In the newspaper "Furthermore, we have been able to reduce our CO2 emissions per passenger for years."
Spohr said that discounted airline or budget airlines for just a few dollars hurt the sector's image.
"They make our industry the target of criticism and clogging of airspace, because an artificial demand is being stimulated that would not exist if it were realistic prices," he said.
"It should not be aircraft under 10 euros."
He defended the Lufthansa unit Eurowings, which offers airplanes below 35 euros, citing the need to defend their home market.
The Friends of Earth estimates the aviation emissions more than doubled between 1990 and 2016, while total emissions fell by 43%. In Europe, low-cost, a spread of budget airlines such as easyJet ( EZJ.L ) and Ryanair ( RYA.I ) and the ascension of Airbnb tracked a fly boom.
Nations, including the Netherlands and France, seek to convince other European countries to end tax exemptions for jet fuel and airline tickets.
Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Mark Potter