28 Mar 2024, 13:42
Edgar Meza

German postal service discontinues domestic airmail service over costs, climate concerns

Clean Energy Wire

German postal service Deutsche Post has ended its domestic air transport service after nearly 63 years in order to reduce costs and limit its climate footprint, the company said. This will allow Deutsche Post to reduce transport-related CO2 emissions on these routes by more than 80 percent, it said. “We conclude the era of overnight letter airmail with mixed feelings,” said Deutsche Post COO Marc Hitschfeld, stressing that the decision was good news for the environment. While airmail in Germany can no longer be justified in times of climate change and also because there is no longer the same urgency with letters as there was decades ago, a part of postal history has just come to an end, he added.

In the end, six aircraft carried some 1.5 million letters each night weighing 53 tons, which corresponds to roughly 3 percent of the total volume of letters transported daily by Deutsche Post. Airmail flights, which began in September 1961, reached their peak in 1996, with 26 aircraft carrying a total of 430 tons of letters to 45 destinations five nights a week. Thereafter digitalisation of communication led to a significant decline in the use of letters and a reduction in flights.  

Deutsche Post reported last year that it would invest less than planned in emissions reduction and climate action after a regulatory decision prevented it from raising postage fees.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
« previous news next news »


Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee