Greta Thunberg leads private jet protest at UK airport

Private jet protest at Farnborough

Greta Thunberg leads protest. Credit:

With many major airlines now committed to sustainability and ‘green’ fuels, a protest at one of the UK’s airports focused on private jets.

On Saturday, January 27, Greta Thunberg, the 21-year-old Swedish environmental activist, took a stand against the increasing use of private jets, joining forces with Extinction Rebellion at Farnborough Airport.

The demonstration took place in the morning with the airport brimming with protesters, objecting to the proposed 40 per cent rise in annual flight numbers.

Rising tensions over airport expansion

The protest, sparked by Farnborough Airport’s application to double its weekend flight capacity, drew a sizable crowd into the town centre, marching with banners that proclaimed ‘Stop Private Flights Now’ and ‘Flying to Extinction.’

This application follows a significant increase in flight activity at the airport, with Extinction Rebellion highlighting a 27 per cent jump in flights in 2022 compared to the previous year.

Impact of private jets on the climate

Thunberg’s criticism of private jet usage in times of climate crisis was stark: ‘The fact that using private jets is both legally & socially allowed in an escalating climate emergency is completely detached from reality.’

She emphasised the elite’s role in jeopardising current and future living standards on the planet for their ‘extreme and violent lifestyles.’

The airport, primarily serving business purposes, has been shown to operate with just 2.5 passengers per flight on average, with 40 per cent of flights being empty, as reported by the campaign group Possible.

Todd Smith, a former airline pilot and spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion, expressed his dismay: ‘Flying is the fastest way to fry the planet, and private jets are the most polluting way to fly.

‘Surely it’s a no brainer to ban private jets and stop expanding these luxury airports in the midst of a climate crisis?’

He highlighted the increasing disparity between the lives of the wealthy and ordinary people, struggling with rising living costs. The airport’s persistent expansion plans, despite previous protests, seemingly underline the unequal societal rules.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Dik Coates

      28 January 2024 • 01:28

      It’s likely coming to reduce the CO2 footprint. There will be huge changes coming up, I suspect. Current weather is just a bit of an example of a lot worse weather on the horizon.

    • Philip

      28 January 2024 • 09:26

      Silly girl. I bet most of these protesters use jet aircraft to go on holiday. A touch of hypocrisy here I think.

    • John Parkinson

      28 January 2024 • 10:02

      Better than having a proper job.
      About time she started working from home.

    • John

      28 January 2024 • 12:56

      I see that the Icon of the Seas cruise ship has a power usage of 270,000 HP using . . . you’ve guessed it . . . fossil fuels.
      Better get down the docks Greta !

    • Brian

      28 January 2024 • 14:03

      How did she get to Farnborough? Walk and swim? Having said that, I confess I have used that airfield many times with my employers planes on business trips when there wasn’t a flight to or from my place of work on Dunsfold aerodrome.

    • CCW60

      28 January 2024 • 15:31

      I suppose she rode her bicycle there? NAHHHH more likely a private jet and brought all her mates with her!

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