Press release

2022-08-18


Shair could have been used to fly more climate-friendly for 3 years already  

But the aviation industry and the German government have decided on the final phase-out

Wiesbaden, 2022-08-18 The start-up Shair stands for share an aircraft. The idea is that two or more competing airlines share one aircraft. Less kerosene is needed, the travellers and thus their flight have a smaller CO₂ footprint and flying without changing planes becomes more comfortable and faster.

Compliments go to the team at Berlin Airport, where there were no significant problems with long waiting times, lost luggage, etc. during the peak travel season. It becomes a problem for Berliners when they must change planes in Frankfurt, Brussels, or London, for example. Shair's "masterpiece" is the concept for BER. The solution would be more direct flights instead of connecting flights. And existing flights could also be optimised with little effort. This would enable Shair to achieve rapid ecological success.


With the "masterpiece", the end becomes "official" at the same time

Several requests for support of the BER concept by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action remained without a response. Even a proposal for quickly realisable improvements in existing flights remained without feedback and thus without political support.
 
So, it is "official": There is no greener flying with Shair. The "occupational ban" and the final "official expropriation" of the Shair brand by the German government in favour of the aviation industry are taking effect. And through the Bavarian lobby association Bauhaus Luftfahrt, politicians have "passed on" the trademark rights of a German start-up abroad to Airbus (Netherlands) and Swiss Airlines (Switzerland). The reason was presumably a cooperation between German politics and the aviation industry. The "expropriation" took place in 2019 by the Grand Coalition. The Berlin concept was now a decisive attempt to avoid this fate after all. But the green-dominated new German government consisting of SPD, Greens and FDP is fully behind the decision of the previous government. 
 

What does this mean for Germany as a business location?
 

  • Loss of credibility of German climate policy, e.g., in international commitments or in climate conferences such as the COP. Failure to protect the climate is also a violation of human rights.
  • An untrustworthy, destructive start-up policy; it is the start-up commissioner of the federal government herself who does not revise the "expropriation" and thus seals the end.
  • Loss of German competitiveness in the export of German climate innovations. Apparently, research is only allowed on what is acceptable in terms of climate policy.
  • Failure of democracy in matters of climate protection. Neither members of the Bundestag nor lawyers wanted to take on the problem.

 

Benchmark with China, France, and the USA

The certainly subjective benchmark with the countries in the Berlin Concept also makes Germany look unfavourable:

  • Shair 2021 had good cooperation with China through a British-Chinese networking agency in London. The many economically strong agglomerations, the world's largest high-speed-railway- network and an innovative environmental policy were good prerequisites for making a difference in terms of climate technology. The cooperation was suspended because Shair had no references in Germany; so much for the "export world champion Germany".


  • In France, a prerequisite for Corona aids from the state was that Air France gave up domestic flights in favour of trains. But also exciting is a US-French joint venture (ALSTOM/TGV and the US branch of Bombardier) for new and faster trains on the US East Coast Route between Boston and Washington DC.


  • Shair's first patent application in Germany was rejected. Almost identical in content, this patent was approved in the United States. Most patent offices worldwide, including Germany, have a processing backlog of years. In the US, environmental and energy-saving patents have a high processing priority of just a few weeks.

 

About the person

"I am glad that Lufthansa, as my former employer, is not directly involved in this unfortunate confrontation against us," says the co-founder of Shair. The question arises as to how Swiss Airlines became part of the alliance between Airbus and Bauhaus Luftfahrt.
 
For more than 40 years, Wolfgang Hildebrand has been working part-time as a church musician for the Protestant church in the Wiesbaden area. Incorporating the impulses from the discussions there about the night flight ban, he published a book in 2013 entitled "Ready for Noise-Off". The proposal went in the direction of fewer flights with the same production output. And it came about as described: The market "fixed it". Between 2014 and 2019, the growth in aircraft movements at Frankfurt Airport was +3%, significantly lower than the passenger growth of +18% (source: Fraport).


Need for a reconditioning

It should be investigated why, how and by whom such a thing could happen. What measures can be taken to prevent similar things from happening in the future? It may also be necessary to change the framework conditions. This requires an analysis of the relationships between those involved - politics, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Bauhaus Luftfahrt, Airbus, Swiss Airlines, the universities involved and others. 
Since no one in the Bundestag has taken up the problem, one should think about setting up a fast-acting ombudsman's office at European or even global level.