Pollution and private jets: controversies and economic issues weighing nearly 30 billion euros

Pollution and private jets: controversies and economic issues weighing nearly 30 billion euros


the essential
For several months, private jets and business jets have been in the crosshairs of environmentalists. But they also represent a huge market and the response to a demand…

Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Vincent Bolloré, Martin Bouygues, François-Henri Pinault or Lionel Messi… Now tracked on specialized sites such as Flightradar24 and denounced by following on social networks, the private planes of billionaires and stars have become for some months the symbol of the heavy carbon footprint of the richest, for ecologists. But not only… Because beyond that, they are also perceived by a growing part of the public as an illustration of a “double standard” depending on whether one is “powerful or miserable”: the impunity of the first to pollute when at the same time, everyone is asked to reduce their energy expenditure, in the face of global warming and the risk of shortages.

Today ? It is the Paris-Saint-Germain footballers who are causing controversy (read below). However, if the headliners of the Qatari club were caricatural, the debate “TGV against private plane or business aviation (when the opposing stadium is less than 2 h 30 by train)” cannot, him, reduced to a caricature, for air transport professionals.

2% of CO2 emissions worldwide

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) quoted at the end of August by the Grouping of French Aeronautical and Space Industries (Gifas), “aviation as a whole represents 2% of global CO2 emissions. Business aviation, for its part, represents 10% of traffic and 2% of these emissions, i.e. 0.04% […] at the World level. Which, at the level of France is then reduced to “0.001% of global emissions” for 0.006% at European level.

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“With these controversies, we forget sectors that pollute much more and we focus the public’s attention on a few percent when we are talking about a branch weighing nearly 30 billion euros in activities in France and 100,000 jobs. direct, induced and generated, with French industrial flagships such as Dassault and Daher” regrets for his part the aeronautical expert Xavier Tytelman, on the telephone. And to sum up, as for PSG…

“Today, an Embraer can be rented for between €5,000 and €7,000 per flight hour. Easy and protected access to the plane… Concretely, the stars of PSG on the TGV would mean, in the face of the crowds that it would drain, securing a station and the whole train. Do you want to close a station for a football team? »

A working tool

In fact, if it is necessary to regulate and take measures against abuses such as pursuing more virtuous consumption, Xavier Tytelman essentially acknowledges… The fact remains that business aviation remains a working tool for companies, including sports, 80% of the flights operated in France being for professional purposes (1), recalls in substance Jean-Jacques Labadie, deputy general manager of Amelia, company whose planes ensure 10 to 15% of the turnover thanks to the “flights on demand” for companies or sports clubs.

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“Less time in transport means more performance at work and everyone is looking for flexible working hours to fit into the very tight schedule that is set for them. We must not forget either, on the sporting side, all the equipment they carry, ”he underlines.

A business aviation pilot, Clément flies across Europe. A four-passenger jet costs between €2,500 and €3,000 per hour, billed “to mainly leisure customers”. And “Speed, flexibility, freedom from all constraints at airports, since the Covid, demand is exploding”, he notes. Very aware of environmental issues, but recalling that in such a competitive market, only international regulations will limit excesses.

Galtier / Mbappé: politicians rebel

Storm on the capital club. On the eve of PSG’s first Champions League meeting, the attitude of Kylian Mbappé, twisted with laughter, and Christophe Galtier’s answers to a question about his team’s air travel unleashed controversy. “This morning (Monday), we discussed with the company with which we travel to find out if we could not travel by sand yacht. In the aftermath of this declaration, the political world condemned en masse these remarks and the disconnection from current issues that they illustrate.

The Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra thus challenged the Paris SG coach on social networks: “Mr. Galtier, you have accustomed us to more relevant and more responsible answers – are we talking about it? “When the deputy Nupes Clémentine Autain (LFI), for her part, considered “appalling” “this disconnection from emergencies and what we are experiencing. »

The Minister for Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runnacher estimated yesterday, on CNews, that the coach’s response and the reaction of Kylian Mbappé “[montrent]how far they are from the challenges of global warming”. “It’s not laughable, it’s shocking to make it anecdotal. »

In the midst of the private jet controversy, PSG was scolded on Sunday by the director of TGV-Intercités Alain Krakovitch for having used the plane rather than the train to get to Nantes for the 6th day of Ligue 1 ( 3-0), Saturday, explaining that the SNCF offered an offer adapted to the needs of the club.
On Friday, the anti-globalization association Attac was already pointing the finger at the attitude of PSG player Lionel Messi, whose private jet has made 52 flights since June, “i.e. 1,502 tonnes of CO2”. “It’s as much as a Frenchman in 150 years”.

(1) The remaining 20% ​​is divided into government, medical and private flights.

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