Private jets at Palma airport. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

Palma airport is the eighth most frequented airport in Europe by private jets, with 7,932 private flights in 2022, followed by Ibiza with 6,606, according to a study commissioned by Greenpeace to denounce the pollution generated by this type of transport.

However, the report points out that some of the flights in Palma may be for medical purposes.
The route between Palma and Ibiza is among the most used air routes of less than 500 kilometres in 2022, but there are many BE20 flights in the Balearics for medical reasons.
“With the available data, it is impossible to determine the need of these flights with any certainty,” Greenpeace points out.

The report points out that some of the airports that repeatedly appear among the top ten destinations with high private flight traffic in the last three years, London and Rome as well as Palma, are known “above all as famous tourist destinations rather than business centres”.

Behind Palma and Ibiza, among the European airports with the most private jet flights is Madrid-Barajas, with 6,237 private flights in 2022.

The three most popular airports for private jets in Europe last year were Nice-Côte d’Azur, Paris and Geneva, with 34,710, 33,496 and 28,630 flights respectively. The busiest routes for private jets in Europe in 2022 were those linking London, Paris, Nice and Geneva with Paris and London. In 2021, the same pattern was followed, although the Rome-Milan route was also among the busiest and took second place.

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The Greenpeace report highlights that a large proportion of private flights cover distances of less than 500 kilometres, and “given the excessive and disproportionate damage caused by these short flights, they could easily have been replaced by train or ferry travel”.

Research by Dutch environmental consultancy CE Delft reveals that private flights in Spain caused 243,900 tonnes of CO2, which is equal to the average annual CO2 emissions of 162,567 cars. The number of private flights taking off from Spain increased by 74% in 2022.

Greenpeace has pointed out that private jets cause between five and 14 times more CO2 emissions per passenger than the average commercial airliner and 50 times more than trains. In 2018 50 percent of all aviation emissions were caused by just 1 percent of the world’s population.

“Meanwhile, 80 per cent of the world’s people have never even flown as they bear the brunt of the climate crisis,” he reflected.

“While Europe struggles against the climate emergency that is causing unprecedented winter heat episodes and worrying droughts, emissions from private aircraft continue to grow and last year they doubled, causing 3.3 million tonnes of CO2,” the environmental organisation denounced, calling for a ban on private jets. To this end, it has launched a worldwide petition to gather public support.

“As the world faces a global energy crisis that threatens the livelihoods of millions of people and a growing climate crisis, it is time to end private jets as the most unequal and polluting mode of transport. A ban on private planes would be a good sign of justice for Balearic citizens in the context of the current climate emergency,” said Greenpeace spokesperson in the Balearic Islands, Javier Soto.