Austria's Transport Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) describes herself as climate protection minister and never misses an opportunity to express her aversion to aviation. Now the passionate regular customer of charter airlines is calling for a ban on business jets. The aviation association strongly criticizes the government member.
If Leonore Gewessler has his way, there would have been no more flights within Austria or on short-haul routes for a long time. She has literally declared war on them and wants to replace them with state-financed night trains, among other things. Anyone who now speculates that the Nightjet trains could become cheaper as a result is wrong, because the price level is still extremely high, apart from the seat car, in which the climate ticket is also valid within Austria. Also with regard to the comfort in the sleeping and couchette cars, the brilliant representations of Gewessler, the ÖBB and reality differ widely. A great deal is promised, but only a small fraction, if any, is kept. The alleged occasional lack of cleanliness is criticized particularly severely by passengers. But also the fact that downgrades to lower categories than paid for should be the order of the day and that the reimbursement of the difference can then be a tough one. Incidentally, aviation is by no means a role model in this context, because many airlines are downright deaf, dumb and ignorant when it comes to money having to be transferred to passengers. For example, Austrian Airlines was able to get an enforcement order for only 80 euros.
Self-proclaimed climate protectors have been calling for a general ban on private jets for some time. Their argument is that, in direct comparison with scheduled airliners, they should emit significantly more carbon dioxide per passenger. Trains are promoted as a panacea for protecting the planet. However, this ignores the fact that a significant part of the European rail network is not electrified and is therefore operated with diesel traction. For cost reasons, it is not uncommon for diesel locomotives to be used under the contact wire, because this is cheaper due to the high electricity costs, against which no effective measures have been taken at EU level. It is also concealed that in many European countries the railway electricity is generated to a large extent from coal combustion. This means that there is only a spatial shift in the pollutant emissions.
Leonore Gewessler seems to like the ideas that are circulating in France and Amsterdam and advocates that they follow suit and also want to ban private jets in Austria. However, the Green Party disregards the fact that the Alpine Republic is very well represented in business aviation and that companies are not taxpayers to be despised. An entire industry is also pilloried as a climate sinner, even though the "climate protection minister" herself regularly takes customers into the private jets she criticizes. Da can't hide the fact that one of her spokespersons denied this time, stressing that she flew on a charter airline. Anyway, it was still a commercially operated business jet.
In a lengthy media release, the Austrian Aviation Association stressed that Gewessler's demand was not only poorly thought out, but also seemed downright unbelievable. Especially the sentence “Private jet flights are a hobby of the super rich. But we can't all pay for it. Because every flight with a private jet is particularly harmful to our climate. We need stricter rules here. Anyone who damages our climate must also make a fair contribution. Because we all bear the consequences of these luxury trips," says the interest group. This emphasizes that around 80 percent of the required flights are carried out for business purposes, since there are few or no alternatives on the line. For cost reasons alone, users would use the line whenever possible. In passing, the SAF effort is emphasized but misleadingly presented as carbon neutral.
Incidentally, regular business jet customer Leonore Gewessler not only used a “needs airline” on her gas excursion alongside Chancellor Karl Nehammer, but also on the ultra-short haul, which in her opinion should no longer be flown at all. So she preferred to take a seat in a private jet between Kosice and Vienna. There would have been alternatives on the line at the time: At that time, the route was served by Ryanair and Austrian Airlines. On the land route, the route is quite time-consuming, especially on the rail route propagated by Gewessler. Whether private jets are not only the "hobby of the super rich" but also of Austria's "climate protection minister"?