The Lufthansa Group is demanding compensation from a group of environmentalists whose actions resulted in the cancellation of 30 flights and the delay of 120 more. German politicians also believe that it is time to toughen penalties for blocking the runway and obstructing planes’ flights.
The last group is an organization of radicalized ecologists who decided that talks, conferences and marches would not mobilize governments and companies to act, so they chose much more media-based activities. They poured paint on the German Chancellor’s office, threw boiled potato mass on a painting by the impressionist Claude Monet in the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, and stuck to the roads on highways and airport runways.
Lufthansa demands compensation from environmentalists
For this latest action, Lufthansa has decided to bill them: after they disrupted the operation of the airports in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Berlin Brandenburg in November 2022 and July 2023, 30 flights had to be canceled and 120 aircraft departed with serious delays. The airlines had to provide passengers with assistance provided for in the regulations (refund for meals purchased while waiting, hotels if the flight had to be rescheduled for the next day), and thousands of passengers missed scheduled connections or faced other difficulties resulting from the environmentalists’ actions.
The Lufthansa Group had already sent pre-court payment demands to some environmentalists, but none of them voluntarily paid the requested amount. So the airlines went to court and demanded PLN 740,000. euro compensation. The lawsuit was filed by Eurowings, which is part of the Lufthans Group, but is seeking compensation on behalf of all Lufthansa subsidiaries.
The German “Bild am Sonntag” writes that not only airlines would like to put an end to the activities of environmentalists. The German government will prepare a draft law increasing penalties for blocking airports.
Private planes are responsible for more CO emissions2 than commercial flights
Environmentalists themselves argue that their intention is not to make life difficult for passengers of scheduled planes, but only for users of private planes: private jets are responsible for more than 10 times greater CO emissions2 than commercial flights. Private planes are no longer treated as a luxury – thanks to falling prices, more and more wealthy people can afford them. This is reflected in the numbers: in 2000, there were 9.9 thousand registered worldwide. private aviation machines, in mid-2022 over 23 thousand – according to a report by the American Institute of Policy Studies (andng. Institute for Policy Studies). Over the last two decades, the private jet fleet has grown by as much as 133%. In addition, the frequency of private jet flights has increased by about one-fifth since the beginning of the pandemic alone.
An interesting case is Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter and founder of Tesla. It turns out that he is a fan not only of electric cars, but also of his jet, which made 134 flights last year.