Brussels Airport CEO calls for an end to short haul flights

The CEO of the company that runs Belgium’s biggest airport Arnaud Feist has says that he agrees that short haul flights should be scrapped. Speaking in an interview with the daily ‘De Standaard’ the boss of the Brussels Airport Company that is in charge of running Zaventem Airport in Flemish Brabant said that as short distance flights have a disproportionately adverse effect on the environment that should be scrapped. However, viable alternatives must first be found.  On Friday Brussels Airport announced that from 2021 airlines that continue to use older more polluting aircraft will have to pay more to use Zaventem.


In Saturday’s interview Mr Faust told ‘De Standaard’ that "Personally, I feel that short distance flights should disappear in the short term”.

However, the airport boss added that “But you would then need an alternative such as high speed trains that are also affordable. This requires investment. Ten years ago London was the top destination from Brussels Airport. It isn’t any more thanks to the Eurostar. And who would still want to fly to Paris? With the Thalys you are in the centre in 1 hour and 20 minutes”.

"I believe that incentives to stimulate positive behaviour and this is something that we as an airport are going to do more”, Mr Feist added.

On Friday Brussel Airport announced that from 2021 airport tax would be increased for Airlines that use the most polluting aircraft.

On Saturday the Flemish Greens called for large scale European investment to ensure the expansion of the high speed rail network in EU countries. The first candidate on the party’s list or the forthcoming European Elections Petra De Sutter told journalist that aircraft emit 285g of CO2/passenger/km travelled compare with 14g/passenger/km travelled for high speed trains.

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