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Demand for new aircraft may slow down due to "Flight Shame", report says

Zurich, Switzerland - According to the Swiss-based investment bank UBS, the global commercial aircraft demand may slow due to the rising public concern about the impact of air travel on the environment.

The survey conducted by the Swiss Group with more than 6,000 people has revealed that a notable number of travelers in Europe and the United States prefer alternative transportation vehicles over the last 12 months because of the environmental concerns.

The train is the number one choice for relatively shorter distances. Sweden is the leading country in the world for supporting the new movement called "Flight Shame"

During the sidelines of the IATA AGM in Seoul in June, Scandinavian CEO Rickard Gustafson said that Sweeden had seen a 5% drop in demand in the last six months since #flygskam (flight shame) movement began.

European governments introduce additional taxes to discourage people from flying. France will soon put into effect a tax of 1.50 euro for domestic flights and 18 euros for long-haul flights.

Germany plans to double taxes for flights departing from Germany from January next year. Switzerland also announced an upcoming tax regulation for commercial flights.

UBS predicts that the increasing anti-flight trend will reduce air traffic growth from 3% (estimated by Airbus) to 1.5% in Europe over the next 20 years.

USB also cuts Airbus's 2.1% yearly growth forecast in the US to 1.3%.

The report doesn't provide data about the Asia-Pacific region, the world's fastest-growing aviation market. China is soon expected to be the world leader of the global aviation market. But the respondents from China and other Asian countries are not included in the survey.

USB assumes that huge investment in the railroad network across China will slow the awaited boom in air travel as well.

According to its recent global forecast, Airbus foresees almost 11,000 new narrowbody jets in Europe and the US over the next 20 years. But USB says it could shrink by 7%.

If this happens, it means a $60 billion revenue loss for Airbus in 20 years.

Although the trend has not been spread all over the world, the industry is now aware that biofuel initiatives, new-generation fuel-efficient planes may not be enough to stop it.

As an ultimate solution, more and more manufacturers and airlines join the forces to produce future CO2-free planes.



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