Swiss high flyers use private jets to travel 45 kilometres, report reveals

Swiss high flyers use private jets to travel 45 kilometres, report reveals

While many drivers often dream of flying above the traffic around the Gubrist Tunnel in Zurich, a new report by Greenpeace has found that the super-rich have taken this dream quite literally. The study found that the richest people in Switzerland took 11, 45-kilometre flights in 2022 between the Swiss city and Emmen, Canton Lucerne.

35.000 private flights in Switzerland in 2022

In the study, reported in 20 Minuten, Greenpeace found that more than 35.000 private jet flights took off from Swiss airports last year. While many went to resorts in the mountains and small airfields across the country, Zurich Airport catered to the biggest number of jet-setters at 11.000. 

The NGO estimated that more than half of private flights in Europe cover distances of less than 750 kilometres. For Switzerland, the most popular route is between Geneva and Paris - although as it turns out, the country’s entrepreneurs didn’t just want to get out of a three-hour train ride.

11, 45-kilometre flights logged between Zurich and Lucerne

Last year, 11 private jets made the trip from Zurich to the Swiss aerodrome at Emmen, Canton Lucerne. As the crow - or in this case, Gulfstream flies - that’s 44,5 kilometres. Once all the processes around private air travel are taken into account, the trip by plane is likely to be just as fast as taking the 50-minute train ride between Zurich and Lucerne, or the 40-minute blast on the motorway.

The organisation explained that these quick trips up in the sky can be blamed on low fuel prices in Switzerland. At the time of writing, jet fuel can cost as little as 50 rappen (cents) a litre, thanks in part to the fact that the Swiss government has few taxes imposed on aviation fuel and air travel in general.

According to Greenpeace, private flights are between five and 14 times more harmful to the environment than families and individuals jetting off to holiday destinations on commercial planes, and more than 50 times more harmful than public transport. Greenpeace collaborator Nathan Solothurnmann told 20 Minuten that private flights are “the most polluting and energy-intensive form of transport that there is and must be prohibited.”

Thumb image credit: / Mike Fuchslocher

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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