Campaigners back cheap flights

PRO-flying campaigners today insisted cheap flights had opened up foreign travel to all and not just a privileged few able to afford it.The claim was made despite statistics showing most people using cheap flights are those well able to pay more - with the average annual household income of those using Stansted exceeding £47,000.

By Richard Cornwell

PRO-flying campaigners today insisted cheap flights had opened up foreign travel to all and not just a privileged few able to afford it.

The claim was made despite statistics showing most people using cheap flights are those well able to pay more - with the average annual household income of those using Stansted exceeding £47,000.

Flying Matters - the newly formed pro-aviation group trying to dispel what is says are myths surrounding aviation's contribution to climate change - chose the Essex airport to launch its new website and poster campaign.

It is seeking to demonstrate the environmental costs of aviation can and are being addressed effectively, efficiently and fairly.

But its views are hotly disputed by campaigners, who claim air travel is contributing hugely to global warming and the effects of pollution on those living below flightpaths has not been assessed.

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Michelle Di Leo, campaign director of Flying Matters, said: “Working families are now able to share in the excitement and benefits of travel to places which were previously only available to a privileged few.

“Those who argue that any growth in aviation should be prevented need to be very clear that the impact would be to price those families out of their one holiday a year.

“What we need from politicians are policies which recognise the work being done by the industry to reduce its impact on the environment and which balance this with the economic and social contribution made by aviation.

“Economic sustainability needs to go hand in hand with environmental sustainability.”

The group's efforts are being supported by Stansted.

Managing director Stewart Wingate said: “With nearly 24 million people using Stansted a year we certainly know just how much flying does matter to our passengers. We're delighted to lend our support to this new industry-led campaign which will bring some much needed balance to the public debate on the growth of aviation.”

The Evening Star's No More Stansted campaign agrees with and supports the airport at its current flight and passenger limits - but it is against expansion which will have an intolerable impact on the quality of life of people in Suffolk, possibly in the long-term doubling the amount of planes flying over the county.

Do you think people flying should pay more taxes to pay for protection of the environment? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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