Drake, a well-known rapper, has defended his recent use of a private jet for several short flights by claiming that the aircraft was simply being moved to a storage location with no passengers on board.
The artist and other celebrities, including Kylie Jenner, have faced criticism for using private jets for short journeys that could easily be completed by car or public transportation.
In the past six weeks, Drake’s personal Boeing 767 made three flights between Toronto and Hamilton that lasted seven, 12, and 14 minutes, respectively.
The 14-minute flight burned 426 gallons of fuel and produced four tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent of an average person’s annual carbon footprint, according to Celebrity Jets, a Twitter account that tracks the private flights of celebrities.
In response to the criticism, Drake wrote on Instagram, “This is just them moving planes to whatever airport they are being stored at for anyone who was interested in the logistics…nobody takes that flight.”
While some of Drake’s fans supported him, others argued that the pollution caused by the flight was even more unnecessary since it didn’t transport anyone.
Private jets contribute a significant but relatively small amount to the climate crisis, emitting more than 33 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, which is more than the entire country of Denmark.
Research has found that private jets, which carry a small number of people, are five to 14 times more polluting per passenger than commercial planes and 50 times more polluting than trains. Drake’s empty flights would have an even greater carbon impact due to the lack of passengers on board.
Scott Hochberg, a transportation attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, commented on the issue, saying, “Drake’s living in his own meme if he thinks an empty private jet flight is better than a wasteful one with a celebrity on board.”
Hochberg explained that these types of flights are a prime example of wasteful carbon emissions leading to even more wasteful carbon emissions, as they produce climate-heating pollution throughout the entire journey, including the use of ground vehicles for servicing the aircraft.
Hochberg added, “Ultra-short, non-essential flying only multiplies the journey’s climate impacts and we hope celebrities will wake up to the damaging impact of their frivolous flying.”
It’s worth noting that Drake’s personal Boeing 767, known as “Air Drake,” is a particularly large aircraft that has been modified to the rapper’s personal tastes.
The plane, which typically seats hundreds of people on commercial flights, features leather armchairs, luxury bathrooms, and a full kitchen.
In a video posted online three years ago, Drake showed off the refurbishment of his jet.
In conclusion, Drake and other celebrities who use private jets for short, non-essential trips have faced increasing criticism for their contribution to the climate crisis.
While some may argue that moving private jets for convenience is a common practice, it’s clear that these types of flights have a significant environmental impact and may not be justifiable in the face of the ongoing climate crisis.