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Nearly 200 airports across Europe ‘risk going bankrupt’

Nearly 200 European airports risk insolvency in the coming months if passenger traffic does not recover, a trade association warned on Tuesday, as nations contemplate further lockdowns to combat a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly 200 airports across Europe 'risk going bankrupt'
AFP

ACI Europe said the 193 airports facing insolvency are mainly regional airports which serve local communities.

But combined they support more than a quarter of a million jobs and 12 billion euros ($15.6 billion) in gross domestic product.

“The threat of airport closure means Europe faces the prospect of the collapse of a significant part of its air transport system — unless governments step up to provide the required support,” said the trade association. 

A number of European nations have moved to provide specific help for airlines in addition to support measures offered to all companies hit by pandemic-related restrictions.

ACI Europe's figures show airport passenger traffic was down 75 percent in mid-October, which means airports — like airlines — have trouble covering operating costs.

The trade body called on European nations to shift to testing air passengers for coronavirus rather than imposing quarantines on travellers.

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Could sleeper trains offer Germans cheap, low-carbon travel across Europe?

Several political parties in Germany have said they want to bring back sleeper trains in order to meet carbon emissions targets.

Could sleeper trains offer Germans cheap, low-carbon travel across Europe?
A sleeper train in Austria. Photo: dpa/APA | Georg Hochmuth

The Green party have said that they want to put state subsidies into night trains that will connect Germany with cities as far flung as St Petersburg in the north and Lisbon in the south.

According to the environmentalist party’s plans, 40 night rail lines could connect 200 destinations across the continent including islands like Mallorca, which would be linked in by train and ferry.

The Greens want the EU to buy a fleet of sleeper trains that could travel at speeds of between 200 km/h and 250 km/h.

The CDU have also announced plans to rebuild the country’s sleeper train services.

Deutsche Bahn stopped its last sleeper service in 2016 citing the high costs involved in maintaining its fleet that was not recuperated through ticket sales.

Earlier this year the state owned company said it had “no plans” to purchase new sleeper wagons.

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