Some would call it ironic, others hypocritical but whatever your level of cynicism, here are the facts: as its top 1 and 2 global risks for 2018 in terms of likelihood and impact, this year’s snowed in World Economic Forum in Davos listed “extreme weather conditions“, i.e. global warming…
… and yet, according to Air Charter Service, no less than 1,000 private jet flights will land in Davos over the five days of its duration.
Here are some more details about how these titans of industry with hearts oh so bleeding for the environment and the carbon content of earth’s atmosphere – as long as their own carbon footprint is ignored of course – travel.
As Andy Christie Group Director for Executive Jets, says: “Unlike other popular events for private jets – such as the Super Bowl or Champions’ League final – WEF is unique for the industry in that we receive bookings from our offices all over the world, rather than just one or two locally. In the past couple of years, along with flights arranged through our European offices, we have had bookings from our Hong Kong, India and US operations – no other event has quite such a global appeal.”
“Because of the worldwide interest in the event we decided to look at a breakdown of the private jet activity over the five days of last year’s forum to show where people were flying in from and what aircraft they were using. The four main airfields that private jet users attending Davos use are Zürich, Dübendorf, St. Gallen-Altenrhein and St. Moritz.”
The details: according to WingX figures the average number of aircraft movements – arrivals and departures – for those four airports over the rest of January is 65 per day. For the week of the forum that number rises to an average of 218 – an increase of 335%, with the two busiest days, seeing 251 and 301 movements respectively.
“Top countries involved in terms of arrivals in and departures out of the airports were Germany, France and the UK. The US came in fourth spot with 41 arrivals and 51 departures. Russia and UAE were also in the top 10 most popular, out of more than 30 countries in total.”
Finally, here are the preferred planes: expensive heavy jets proved to be the most popular aircraft type last year, with Gulfstream GVs and Global Expresses both being used more than 100 times each. Christie adds: “With the length of some of the journeys, these slightly larger aircraft would have been needed, but with such wealthy individuals attending, they can afford to use such aircraft from wherever they were coming – as well as the element of larger aircraft being seen as a status symbol.”
Indeed they can, which is why all those fawning journalists present at Davos and attending any of the numerous “save the planet” panels, remember: whatever you do, don’t ask how these glorious crusaders for the environment arrived in Davos.