Sweden's air travel drops in year when 'flight shaming' took off

(Reuters News, 10 Jan 2020) Swedish plane passengers dropped by 4% in 2019 amid growing concerns over the industry's climate impact.

The number of passengers that flew through Swedish airports dropped 4% in 2019, Swedish state-owned airport operator Swedavia said on Friday, with the drop led by a decline in domestic traffic.

The Swedish-born movement of "flight shaming", which calls for curbs to air travel due to its environmental impact, has gained prominence over the past year and the aviation industry is watching closely travel trends in countries, such as Germany and Sweden, where the campaign has begun to have an impact.

"We see a number of reasons concurring, such as the Swedish aviation tax, weak Swedish crown, softening economy worries. But also the climate debate," Swedavia spokesman Robert Pletzin said. He addded the drop followed a record 2018 and several years of strong growth.

More than 40 million passengers traveled through 10 Swedavia airports, down from previous year's all-time high above 42 million, with domestic travel down 9%, the airport operator said in a statement. Domestic travel fell for a second year in a row.

In December, domestic travel fell by 7% and overall traffic was down 4%.

Germany has seen similar trends, with ADV industry group predicting a 2.9% fall in take-offs and landings at German airports in 2020.

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Reuters News, 10 Jan 2020: Sweden's air travel drops in year when 'flight shaming' took off