Blue sky statistics


Since 2000 business flights by residents of the UK have fallen by 25%: a rate far beyond the general impacts of the recession.

There are two likely reasons. Business travel is treated by many companies as a luxury, which is quickly cut when conditions tighten. And much of the perceived need to travel has been superseded by new technologies. Internet conferencing is cheaper, quicker and less taxing for workers.

But, at vast public and private expense, at the cost of homes and green spaces, peaceful skies and a benign climate, governments are trying to build more runways, to encourage people to stick with the old technology.So much for business.

The great majority of flights (85%) are in fact used for leisure, overwhelmingly by people in the top three social classes. The result is not an economic boon for the UK but a loss – a tourism deficit of £13.8bn last year. Planes are tubes through which money is sucked out of the country. The more flights there are, the more we lose.

Source: @monbiot on

Ed Dowding

Ed Dowding

Founder, strategist, writer, gadfly, TED talker, world-record holder, and (foolishly) reality-TV farmer. DOES: Innovation, Product, Advocacy THINKS: Regenerative Systems, Institution design, 300 year horizons

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