Private jet traffic at a record level: does it have to be?

Good morning, dear readers,

thanks to high energy prices, the big oil and gas companies are posting record profits. The US companies Exxon Mobil and Chevron alone earned 91.1 billion dollars in 2022, which is more than the previous year’s profits of all the largest American and European oil companies combined. The oil and gas companies are benefiting from the increased energy prices, which were mainly driven up by the war between Russia and Ukraine.

However, the boom in fossil fuels is temporary. In the group’s current Energy Outlook, BP expects global oil demand to be up to six percent lower by 2035 than it is today.

Until then, when we fill up the tank and order heating oil, we console ourselves with the old financial adviser wisdom: “Your money isn’t gone. It just belongs to someone else now.”

The European answer to the US subsidy program “Inflation Reduction Act” (IRA) is also about tax money that could soon belong to someone else. Brussels wants to give back a lot, with tax breaks for green investments. For this purpose, the law on state aid should be relaxed. This is what it says in the draft for the “Green Deal Industrial Plan”, which the EU Commission is officially presenting today.

Ursula von der Leyen and Christian Lindner: The head of the EU Commission and the Federal Minister of Finance are struggling to find an answer to the US plans.

(Photo: IMAGO/NurPhoto)

Anyone who wants to form their own opinion as to whether the new European billions in funding is a good idea can ammunition themselves with arguments in our debate: economists Lars Feld and Jens Südekum discuss the right answer to the IRA in the Handelsblatt. And if you can already guess which of the two economists holds which opinion – then you are probably not wrong.

Someone must have closed the guidebook “How do I become a popular company?” unread: Germany’s largest landlord Vonovia is stopping all new construction projects planned for 2023 due to rising construction costs and interest rates. Vonovia board member Daniel Riedl told the “Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung”: “We will not have any new construction projects this year. Inflation and interest rates have risen enormously and we cannot turn a blind eye to that.”

Not good news for the Federal Ministry of Building, where the campaign promise of 400,000 new apartments per year had to be accepted. The Parliamentary State Secretary, Cansel Kiziltepe (SPD) to the Handelsblatt: “Even if we have turbulent times in the construction industry due to the turnaround in interest rates: Vonovia, as the largest housing company, cannot shirk its responsibility.” Vonovia should rather stop paying dividends and use the money to Use protection of the new building.

Additional suggestion: The ministry could ask itself critically why building in Germany has become so unattractive that even the market leader is no longer interested in it.


I still remember the scene well when I traveled to Davos to report on the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2019 (Swiss, wood class): The pilot announced that our landing in Zurich was unfortunately delayed – because of the many private jets of the forum participants , who are just approaching Zurich. Around 500 such flights are attributed to the WEF each year.

Now a Monday morning machine from Germany to Switzerland is not filled with elements of class struggle. But rather with all the helpful spirits that keep the big wheel of capitalism turning. Still, after the pilot’s announcement, an air of revolutionary turmoil wafted through the ranks.

Your own jet as the privilege of an elite minority that robs the rest of humanity of scarce resources: This enemy image is currently booming again. Climate activists are calling for a ban on private jets.

The fact is, the pandemic has fueled demand for private plane travel. Never before have private jets flown around the world as frequently as in 2022. The number of private jet flights has also increased at German airports, in contrast to flights based on instrument flight rules (IFR) overall. The latter also includes all scheduled flights.

A Cessna 560XL Citation: The pandemic has sharply increased the demand for flights in your own aircraft. Environmentalists and activists denounce this.

(Photo: imago images/CHROMORANGE)

The climate activists’ fight against emissions also gets those who need private planes for their business into trouble: Many large medium-sized companies in rural regions that export worldwide use the company plane as a daily work tool for their management.

For this reason, too, our aviation reporter Jens Koenen argues against a private jet ban: “Why not tax flights with a private plane at a flat rate? Why not stipulate that so-called emission rights certificates must be purchased commercially for every private or business flight?”

Starting the turbines of a private jet would be significantly more expensive. Entrepreneurs and managers who rely on their own aircraft could continue to use it.

Yesterday there was also a lot of transfer traffic at the other end of the aviator pleasure scale: Peter Gerber, previously head of the Lufthansa subsidiary Brussels Airlines, will become the new head of the leisure airline Condor on February 1, 2024. Gerber has resigned from Brussels with immediate effect. One reason for this may be that Lufthansa’s contracts contain a non-competition clause that prohibits direct switching to a rival for twelve months. The longer Gerber had stayed at Brussels, the later he could have started at Condor.

At Brussels, acting Lufthansa board member Christina Foerster will take over the management. She was the boss there from 2018 to 2020.

The beauty of football: Just when you think you’ve seen it all, there’s a curious situation that convinces you otherwise. Konstantinos Mavropanos from VfB Stuttgart scored “the own goal from the longest distance in the history of the DFB Cup” in the DFB Cup game at SC Paderborn yesterday, as the German Football Association announced on Tuesday evening. The distance to the goal when the back pass failed was an incredible 48.1 meters, according to the pay-TV broadcaster Sky. After Stuttgart won the game 2-1, VfB coach Bruno Labbadia said: “We scored three goals today. That shows that we are a goal threat.”

I wish you a day when you sell mishaps at work well.

Best regards

Your Christian Rickens

Editor-in-Chief Handelsblatt

Morning Briefing: Alexa

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