With the green agenda rising in the UK's 2019 general election campaign, the UK Labour Party has indicated it would consider a ban on fossil-fuel powered private aircraft flights from 2025. The November 4 statement by shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald was in response to a new report calling for electric-only private aircraft flights published by environmental and economic pressure groups Fellow Travellers and Commonwealth.
The report, titled "jet, set, go," claims that a passenger in a private jet today emits seven times as much greenhouse gas as a business class passenger in an airline flight. The reported differential rises to 10 times compared with an economy-class airline passenger and 150 times compared with a train passenger. According to the authors, there were 128,000 private jet flights between UK airports and the rest of Europe in 2018—representing 6 percent of total traffic—as well as another 14,000 flights from the UK to points beyond Europe.
According to the authors, four of five private aircraft journeys within Europe today could be conducted by electric aircraft in 2025 and beyond. That said, they acknowledge that even if electric aircraft were widely adopted, this move has the potential to reduce the UK's aviation emissions of greenhouse gases by only around 15 percent by 2050.