Air Travel: How it could be …

To be honest, I have a larger personal conflict between my professional engagement as climate change scientist, my private engagement on low fossil fuel usage on one side and my unbroken enthusiasm for aviation on the other side. I try to solve it by not owning a car, using things for a long time, repairing things five times and doing rather local vacation with my family.

From time to time, however, it would be cool to fly … not just in the home built simulator. Apart from the uncool carbon emissions, air travel has become non-enjoyable for most, especially with larger airports, security measures, waiting times and with a decreased uniqueness of the event of flying. Unless you upgrade for many bucks, but the increase in service still puts you and 360 others in a big metal canister after all the waiting time in the big airport. And I have never tried (and not even thought about trying) low cost airlines. The whole Corona thing has made me think about quality versus quantity when it comes to air travel.

So I thought about a possible solution and tried it out with my family. Lets revert back from mass transport with mass carbon emissions to personalized air travel and an adequate price tag. Price usually regulates demand and scale very well. A fair price includes service, uniqueness, fair salaries to pilots and maintenance staff and short boarding times. With a fair price for air travel the cost of offsetting carbon emissions is not of relevance any more (so carbon offset tax could even be much higher than it is). Which of course means that for a family of 5 like we are, such a personalized adventure will financially only be doable every 5-10 years … and possibly a long haul flight with such a service will not feasible for us at all. Which is good!

The opportunity was given by the charter flights offered this year by Belpmoos Reisen AG between Bern and Elba by contracting with Swiss Flight Services and using their King Air 350i aircraft with 8 passenger seats. They however did not offer flights at the date when we wanted to book the service. Thankfully they extended their schedule and we reserved 5 seats for the flight from Elba to Bern. They eventually found 3 more people to fill the aircraft. We went to Elba the classical way by train and ferry (well, the really classical way is by car, which is what 99.95% of all tourists do) and had a wonderful post-Corona holiday on the beach village Lacona.

And the adventure to go back from the small airport of Marina di Campo to Bern was really a great one with beautiful weather and very friendly staff of Swiss Flight Services. I wouldn’t want to miss it. It passed rather quickly but it was the opposite of the typical sardine box feeling of modern air travel.