Fringe Box



Is Air Travel Flying Back Up to Pre-Covid Levels Over Guildford?

Published on: 19 May, 2022
Updated on: 24 May, 2022

By Hugh Coakley

It was looking busy in the skies north of Worplesdon this morning. I counted 18 separate aeroplane trails at 7:20 this morning (Wednesday, May 18).

Is this an indication air travel is increasing up to pre-pandemic levels?

Aeroplane trails in the skies north of Worplesdon on a beautiful clear morning.

The airline industry is being cautious. Heathrow has said international travel is “on the cusp of recovery” but they don’t expect pre-pandemic levels until 2026. They have suffered losses of £3.4 billion since Covid hit.

Boeing is more sanguine about their sales predicting pre-Covid levels will be reached by late 2023 to early 2024.

But this of course depends on international trade and growth which has been hit by the war in Ukraine.

Climate campaigners have called for a frequent flier levy to cut the number of flights because a small number of people do most of the flying, just 15 per cent of people take 70 per cent of all flights.

The government though is confident we can rely on innovation to cut the CO2 emissions from planes. So, we can still fly and hit our net-zero target by 2050, they maintain.

But climate charity, Possible, say “It’s a very high-risk strategy, it’s not plausible. The government is putting all its eggs in the basket of aviation meeting their own goals – but [the airlines] track record is terrible,”

More plane trails in the skies north of Worplesdon.

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Responses to Is Air Travel Flying Back Up to Pre-Covid Levels Over Guildford?

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    May 24, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    What, no comment on the recovery of traffic using Farnborough Airport? The eastern approach comes straight over Guildford.

    Then there are all the helicopters at low level in transit.

    I’d be more interested in any real effects attributable, whether noise or pollution.

  2. A J Ferenczy Reply

    May 24, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    The traffic in and around Guildford is certainly worse than I have ever known it. I fondly recall all that waffle during lock-down about how great the peace and quiet and fresh air was, how we’d reclaimed our streets for the people, and how things would change forever. Lasted about five minutes.

    Seems it’s the same for the skies.

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