German airline Lufthansa expects passenger numbers to rise about four per cent this year, its chief executive said yesterday, playing down talk that public support for teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg might be curbing air travel.
“At this time, we don’t see restraint – in fact, the opposite,” Carsten Spohr told the NZZ Am Sonntag newspaper. “In comparison to last year, already a record year, we’re expecting passenger growth of about four per cent, [Lufthansa unit] Swiss International Air Lines is also showing growth. The discussion of climate change is not leading to restraint with bookings. People want to fly.”
Media reports have suggested a “Greta effect” might curb demand for air travel, referring to the 16-year-old Swede, who has gained global attention for her efforts to convince people to reduce carbon-emitting activities.