Ghost flights

I’ve heard of “positioning flights” - where an airline needs to fly an empty aircraft because it’s in the wrong place to meet their schedule (usually because something has gone wrong elsewhere).

But I’ve never heard of “ghost flights” - where an empty aircraft needs to take to the skies just to use its slot. Completely bonkers.


I read about these flights a little while ago, and it’s an absolute joke!

Think of the cost and the emissions that come from this, there should be a better way of keeping slots active!

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The same thing happens with cruise ships as well, from what I understand.

I believe it is because it costs money to keep aircraft waiting at an airport --there’s a whole load of aeronautical charges for an airline to pay. Dublin’s pricelist is here, as an example: summary-table-of-dublin-airport-charges-2022.pdf (


To be honest, in the world of aviation ghost flights seems like barely a drop in the water in terms of waste and unnecessary pollution.

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Travel is definitely generally not a waste though, nor would I say trying to explore the world is unnecessary pollution; in an ever-increasing state of globalisation, we should be exploring the other cultures and countries around us and far from us

Ghost flights having zero people on them and personal private jets (excl government officials and those who have security risks like the royal family) are the real issue

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Well hopefully, this should offset the ‘ghost flights’, if they’re on the ground because of lack of staff, they’re not polluting:

I’ve got friends who are about to travel to the Canary Islands and it’s turning into one massive faff for them, mostly around the Covid regulations and having to have a negative test 48 hours before a flight etc. At this stage still, I couldn’t be bothered with all of that messing about, I’d rather just stay at home.


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