At least 1,500 private jets are expected to descend on Davos and nearby airports in Switzerland this week as the international financial and political elite gathers to talk about global climate challenges.
Sir David Attenborough, a lead speaker this year at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF), has already stated that climate is the issue of our time:
Industry group Air Charter Service calculated the private jet flights over the week, as delegates fly in to hear the likes of Mr. Attenborough speak at an event boasting a basic entry ticket price of U.S.$60,000 – per person.
Davos is a small town in the Swiss Alps, around 92 miles south-east of Zurich.
Andy Christie, Private Jets Director at ACS, told the Guardian how the numbers are determined:
Davos doesn’t have its own airfield and, whilst we have several clients who fly into the town by helicopter, the four main airfields that private jet users attending the forum use are Zürich, Dübendorf, St. Gallen-Altenrhein and St. Moritz.
Working with WingX, we looked at private jet activity at those airports over the six days of each WEF week since 2013 – from one day before the event to one day after. Last year was the busiest year for private jets so far, showing an 11% increase on 2017, with more than 1,300 aircraft movements. If we see a similar increase this year, we could be looking at almost 1,500 aircraft movements over the six days.
Countries with the most arrivals and departures over the past five years at Davos are Germany, France, the UK, U.S., Russia, and UAE, respectively.
Around 3,000 participants are expected for the 2019 edition. They represent the worlds of business, government, international aid, academia, arts and culture, and the media, although U.S. President Donald Trump will not be among them.
Among the list of topics to be covered this week is the WEF’s Global Risk Report for 2019 which reveals environmental crises, such as failures to tackle climate change, “are among the likeliest and highest-impact risk that the world faces over the next decade.”
How much does it cost to participate?
The WEF website reveals annual membership (required if you want to buy a ticket to Davos) is upwards of U.S.$60,000, depending on the institution or company’s “level of engagement”.
At the top are the 100 “strategic partner” companies – including Accenture, Barclays, Deloitte, KPMG and Unilever – who pay around U.S.$600,000 for annual membership, which entitles them to buy an access-all-sessions pass for themselves and five colleagues, including special privileges. But they still have to purchase actual tickets to the event.