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German Air Travel Slump Points to Spread of Flight Shame

  • Passenger numbers are steadily dropping on domestic routes
  • Slide mirrors Swedish trend as rail operators reap surge
Environmental activists occupy the main hall at Tegel airport in Berlin, on Nov. 10, 2019.

Photographer: Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images

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Mounting concern about carbon emissions may be altering travel habits in Europe’s largest economy as figures from German airports show a steady decline in passengers taking domestic flights.

The number of people flying between German cities fell 12% in November from a year earlier, according to the ADV industry group, marking a fourth straight monthly drop and mirroring a pattern emerging in Sweden, where teenage activist Greta Thunberg has spearheaded a campaign against air transport. Rail firm Deutsche Bahn AG has meanwhile reported record passenger numbers.