After the three-month closure caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the French capital Orly Airport reopened on Friday, but the traffic flow was very small and was briefly interrupted by climate protesters rushing into the runway.
The plane operated by low-cost carrier Transavia flies to Porto, Portugal. This is the first commercial flight since the second Paris airport ceased operations on March 31.
To celebrate, two fire trucks on both sides of the plane fired a water arc at the stationary plane, and the passengers inside waited to taxi to the runway.
But a few hours later, the “extinct rebellion” activists rushed into the runway, ignited flares, and tied themselves to a bicycle locked in the neck to protest the rescue of the aviation industry because of air traffic during the Covid-19 pandemic Grounded and suffered huge losses.
According to a tweet from Extinction Rebellion, a total of 29 people were arrested, including a reporter from ecological news site Reporterre.
Before being arrested, the militants held high banners saying “Let’s save lives instead of airplanes” and “15 billion euros to reinitiate disaster”, referring to the 15 billion euros (about 17 billion US dollars) bailout of the French government to the aviation industry .
“There are many opinions on the security of the airport”
In October last year, the Extinction Rebellion took a similar action at London Heathrow Airport.
The organization hopes that governments will adopt policies to reduce harmful emissions to zero net levels by 2025.
An activist of the organization is named after Frank. He said: “Facing the plane, facing the symbol that puts us in danger,” this is his name.
The militants warned of the safety of the airport 20 minutes before rushing into the runway, Frank said, adding that he was surprised by the time the French police responded.
Frank said: “This fully shows the safety of the airport, anyone can enter.”
“The government is trying to publicize the ban by banning some domestic flights, but at the same time, it is funding the revival of the aviation industry with billions of dollars of public funds. What is the logic?” The Extinction Rebellion said in a statement .
It is expected that there will be 8,000 passengers on Friday, less than 10% of the daily average of 90,000 passengers before the global flight is grounded by the virus crisis.
The increase in traffic in July will depend on whether Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia reopen their borders. And whether the virus is still under control.
Orly is the second largest hub in the French capital, second only to Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) north of Paris. Charles de Gaulle remained open during the country’s Covid-19 blockade, although in May, traffic collapsed by nearly 98%.
The International Air Transport Association said earlier this month that global airlines’ net losses this year totaled more than 74 billion euros ($84 billion), which is one of the directions.
As part of the new security measures, Orly Airport operator Paris Airport (ADP) has installed 137 plexiglass screens at the counter and installed more than 7,000 posters and stickers on 150 sanitary dispensers to ensure that keep distance.
The staff also uses a thermal imager to check the passenger’s temperature. Others wear white protective clothing and spray disinfectants on masks such as automatic boarding screens.
(France 24 with AFP)