'Flight shaming' threatens air travel demand beyond Europe - IATA chief

(Reuters News, 4 Sep 2019) Head of International Air Transport Association warns the environmental challenge "will probably come to other parts of the world, especially North America".

This summer, U.S. airlines have enjoyed booming flight demand, immune to a Swedish-born "flight shaming" movement that has hit air travel in Europe, where environmentally conscious travelers are choosing trains over planes.

But the head of global lobby International Air Transport Association (IATA) says the environmental challenge, which he called the biggest threat to the airline industry in Europe, "will probably come to other parts of the world, especially North America."

"If you believe or think that the environmental concern is a world concern touching everyone on the planet (...) there's no reason to believe that other young people won't react," Alexandre de Juniac told journalists on Tuesday.

De Juniac later acknowledged to Reuters that the lack of a viable train alternative in the United States was a big hurdle to a U.S. movement, but noted the rise of progressives promoting plans like the Green New Deal, which includes investment in high-speed rail.

The movement will spread in the United States and then move on to advanced countries in Asia like Korea and Japan, de Juniac predicted.

The more anti-aviation sentiment grows, the more eager governments are to tax the industry, he said.

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Reuters News, 4 Sep 2019: 'Flight shaming' threatens air travel demand beyond Europe - IATA chief