• Cutting corners in the sky

    MEPs have approved a plan to straighten certain air traffic routes to cut fuel costs and aircraft emissions, though T&E says the climate benefits have been exaggerated.

    With all 27 EU members having their own air space, planes often need to fly much longer distances to get from A to B, but the Single European Sky II plan proposes nine air spaces among the 27 members, to cut flying distances and improve safety.

    Last year the Commission estimated that the existing route from Lyon to Frankfurt was 40.7% longer than necessary, and Amsterdam-Milan 23% longer, but T&E says straightening routes should not be used as a reason to prolong aviation’s exemptions from taxes.