Thursday, November 4th, 2021
47 kilometers in a private jet
Von der Leyen’s 19-minute flight causes trouble
While there are discussions in Germany and other countries about banning short-haul flights, the EU Commission President uses the plane for a distance less than 50 kilometers. Ursula von der Leyen even had to listen to criticism from within her own party.
The General Secretary of the European Taxpayers Association, Michael Jäger, has criticized EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for a 19-minute flight in a private jet. Von der Leyen traveled on this route from Vienna to nearby Bratislava in June. In an interview with “Bild”, Jäger described the short-haul flight as an “ecological sin”. “It cost a lot of tax money, a lot of time to get to and from the airports and above all: a lot of credibility.”
The CDU member of the Bundestag Jana Schimke also warned the former defense minister: “If you want change, you have to set an example. Otherwise you will become implausible.” According to “Bild”, the flight distance from Vienna to Bratislava is just 47 kilometers, less than, for example, from Hamburg to Lübeck or from Cologne to Wuppertal. As a result, the flight caused CO2 emissions of more than a ton.
A spokesman for the EU Commission justified the flight to the newspaper: “With departure and arrival in Belgium, there were seven countries in two days on the President’s trip. Alternatives were examined, but there was no other logistical option.” That same evening von der Leyen flew to Riga in a private plane. “In addition, there were concerns about using scheduled flights or trains due to Corona.”