Study: Short domestic flights could be abandoned in Finland

The new research finds that replacing domestic flights with buses, trains or cars on journeys up to 400km would significantly reduce a country's climate impact.

File picture of plane in flight / Credit: iStock

A new study published by the University of Jyväskylä suggests that domestic flights in Finland could be abandoned to help fight climate change – in favour of cars, trains and buses on journeys up to 400km.

Researcher Stefan Baumeister says that a flight might seem like the fastest way to get from point A to point B. However, it might not always be the case.

A good example would be a flight from Kokkola and Helsinki which takes just over an hour.

“Adding a trip to the airport, screening, boarding and then moving from the airport to the city centre will increase your journey time to more than three and a half hours. So, just like a train journey between the cities” explains Baumeister.

His study notes that in the debate about the impact of air transport on flying, long haul flights are considered problematic, while short flights are often overlooked.

“When considering concrete ways to reduce air traffic and emissions, however, domestic short-haul flights are clearly more easily replaced by more environmentally friendly alternatives” the academic adds.

During his research, Baumeister looked at the feasibility of substituting all domestic flights in Finland with land-based travel instead; he took into consideration carbon dioxide emissions and door-to-door travel time.

His study finds that replacing domestic flights would significantly reduce a country’s climate impact.