Airlines

Qantas & Virgin answering questions nobody is asking

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Virgin CEO Paul Scurrah have told the National Press Club that part of the role of their businesses is to back social issues. Puhlease.

Have shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favour of Joyce deploying their funds to sponsor woke causes? No one is stopping Joyce from pushing whatever virtue signaling he likes in his own time, but he probably might reflect that most of his customers haven’t requested to be lectured on board. Scurrah is the newbie, so he seems to want to score some media attention.

The latest excuse to push this corporate social nonsense is the unfounded research that kids of today require their corporates to have these woke causes embedded in the culture for them to join. What happened to “employer of choice” based on the business model? Will budding pilots want to pick the airline with the best conditions and business survivability or that which has the best carbon offset programme? Truth be told, what young ecomentalist university graduate wants to join an evil carbon dioxide producing airline anyway?

Having said that, employee retention will not favour wokeness when pay and conditions remain crimped by misguided company policy vs more attractive opportunities at firms that focus less on this. Harvey Norman is exhibit A on that measure. It is crushing the competition.

Qantas only needs to look internally at its own carbon offset program and how dismal it is. While it might be the world’s largest, truth is around 2% elect to pay for the sin of flying.

Back in May 2018, CM noted, while waiting in the lounge,

“So to offset my flight to Haneda, CM would pay $11.21 AUD. CM can put it to ‘local action’ (fund activism?), ‘developing communities’ or ‘global renewables’. In its 2017 Annual Report, Qantas boasted,

We have the world’s largest airline offset program and have now been carbon offsetting for over 10 years. In 2016/17, we reached three million tonnes offset.”

Carbon calculators tend to work on the assumption of 0.158kg CO2/passenger kilometre.

In the last 10 years Qantas has flown around 1 trillion revenue passenger kilometres. While the literature in the annual report denotes one passenger offsets every 53 seconds, the mathematical reality is simple – 2% of miles are carbon offset. So that means that 98% of people couldn’t care less.

Perhaps more embarrassing is that The Guardian noted in Jan 2018 that,

Qantas [was the] worst airline operating across Pacific for CO2 emissions

Kind of a massive load of hot air when you do the maths!

Mr Joyce might earn $24m p.a. CM would reckon shareholders would be glad to hike that if he ditched the social justice nonsense.

Qantas service is rarely anything to rave about so more effort applied in that area could well serve the company’s (and shareholder’s) interests far better than answering question hardly anyone is asking.

Sir Elton is on to something big here folks

Sir Elton is on to something. He vigorously defended the use of his private jet by Prince Harry and Meghan by saying he’d offset the emissions via Carbon Footprint (CF) so the flights were carbon neutral.

CM decided to input the figures of what a return trip to Ibiza followed by a return trip to Nice would cost the lovely couple to offset their evil ways using CF’s calculator. Turns out there is no “private jet” setting on the CF website leaving CM to use first class as a default.

The return trip from the UK to Ibiza would only require £2.00 each. The UK-Nice run would also run £2.00 return. So for the grand total of £8.00, their carbon emissions could technically be paid for on CF. CM notes that if the flights were combined then the cost drops to £3.71 each, a saving of 58p!

To splurge, Sir Elton could select the ‘UK tree plant’ for £12.90 (incl 20% VAT) each for a grand total of £51.60. Kenyan reforestation options are £9.50.

We don’t know how much Sir Elton paid for his offsets. One would hope his billions did a bit more than £8.00 or worse, £7.42 on a package offset.

Perhaps the $100s of billions of tax dollars spent (wasted) on renewables every year could be abolished and easily replaced by the generosity of pop stars paying to plant trees in Kenya! Who knew?

Flotsam and Jet Some

This is the downside of virtue signaling. 16yo pigtailed activist Greta Thunberg’s misguided altruism will unfortunately lead to more carbon emissions than had she flown by commercial jet. Her solar powered sailing boat might have made her feel warm and fuzzy inside but there is a catch that probably hasn’t been mentioned.

According to a spokeswoman for Team Malizia, “We added the trip to New York City at very short notice, and as a result two people need to fly over to the U.S. in order to bring the boat back…The world has not yet found a way to make it possible to cross an ocean without a carbon footprint.

Presumably two of the other crew members will fly home. So that’s the equivalent of two return flights where Thunberg would have only costed only one.

The irony. In order to save the planet, she has inadvertently bumped the very footprint she tried to avoid (although technically the scheduled flights were going anyway). To think she missed out on gourmet airline meals served on plastic trays and reruns of David Attenborough’s Climate Change:The Facts on a loop. Even better she wouldn’t need to poop in a bucket.

What a joke.

0.00000000000007314%

16yo activist Greta Thunberg is off to the next UN summit in the US and Chile by sailing boat. The only issue is if she flew on a commercially scheduled flight (which goes anyway) her weight – at presumably 35-40kg – would mean she would add 0.016% to the fuel calculations a Boeing 777 pilot would have to account for . Her impact would be so minuscule as to beggar belief.

280 million trips were made by commercial aircraft last year according to the IATA. Her transatlantic return flight would only be 2 of those meaning she would represent 0.000000714% of all annual flights taken.

Given that airlines, by the IATA’s own stats, annually produce the equivalent to 2% of all man-made emissions or 0.000016% in total, her two flights would make up around 0.0000000000114%. That is slightly unfair as the journey would be longer. So let’s bump it 4-fold. Her weight would penalize the planet 0.0000000000007314%.

Apart from the fact the yacht she will travel on is a byproduct of the fossil fuel industry if she really wants to reduce the footprint she’d be better off swimming. Unfortunately most of the virtue signalers heading to the UN summit will fly. Last year 22,000 went. Including 7300 odd observers to tell us we must do our bit. Why not Skype or teleconference it?

Skipping school for a year might not be the best idea. The chances of dying by sailing are 54 in 1,000,000. By commercial aviation there is a 0.06 chance per 1,000,000 flights. Strictly by the math she has a far better chance of avoiding extinction by flying.

The dilemma of the XR movement – the free market

How funny that the Extinction Rebellion (XR) Deutscheland should publish this question which only proves that the majority of people are driven by the free market and not wistful dreaming.

The author of the article in Tagesschau is demanding that the plane be made more expensive so it can’t compete with rail. How about making rail cheaper?

If only XRD realized that air travel in total produces 2% of global man made emissions meaning the CO2 output of commercial flight is 0.000024% of the total.

Perhaps you shouldn’t be a pilot

A Canadian pilot is trying to claim the Boeing 737MAX has caused career damage, emotional and mental stress. He claims Boeing demonstrated “reckless indifference and conscious disregard for the flying public” in the development of the plane.

Presumably he migrated from the 737 Next Gen to the 737MAX meaning gaining type certification of the outgoing model would not be a stretch meaning career damage would be limited, especially given that Boeing forecasts the need for 790,000 new pilots out to 2037.

The lawsuit also contends the FAA and Boeing colluded in “an unprecedented cover-up of the known design flaws of the MAX

It should be quite disconcerting for a pilot to claim mental stress in this way given the role requires nerves of steel at important times. This is not to criticize those with legitimate mental health issues but this class action seems more like The Simpsons episode where everybody ends up suing everybody.

The stress from flying domestic routes in Canada is not the same as the stress of flying a cargo plane out of Bagram Air Force base where insurgents fire surface to air missiles.

Is it realistic to think the 400 pilots who supposedly intend to join the class action have all suffered from the same trauma?