"Airlines claim they're sending thousands of empty flights out in an attempt to maintain market share despite the environmental damage."
"Few industries have been affected more by the covid-19 pandemic than air travel; with so few people flying for business or pleasure, airlines have taken to flying “ghost flights” to secure their takeoff and landing slots at airports.
Such flights—devoid of passengers but still burning up fuel on their phantom journeys—became a familiar term in the early days of the pandemic, but have remained in the air since covid-19 gripped the world two years ago. Ghost flights are a point of contention in Europe this week, as airlines complained that they’ll be forced to fly more of them as air travel took another dip.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the company was canceling more flights than expected this winter, a result of the omicron variant surging in Europe. And it would cancel even more if not for the way airports allocate gates."