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Germany’s postal service ceases domestic mail flights

Deutsche Post will no longer use aircraft to carry letters within Germany after more than six decades of doing so. The move aims to cut costs and reduce CO2 emissions — but it will also mean slower delivery.

The last planes carrying letters for delivery within Germany took off on Thursday as German postal service Deutsche Post discontinues its domestic mail flights after more than 62 years.

The cessation of the aerial transport, designed to cut costs and greenhouse emissions, comes after Germany’s coalition government moved to relax rules governing delivery times, meaning that customers will now have to wait longer for letters.

Last flight destination Stuttgart

The very last aircraft carrying domestic mail took off from Berlin and flew to the southwestern city of Stuttgart early on Thursday morning, the German dpa news agency said.

Other planes previously departed from Hannover, Munich and Stuttgart, with the altogether six aircraft carrying around 1.5 million letters weighing 53 metric tons (58.5 US tons), according to dpa.

Germany’s Postal Act had long required that at least 80% of posted letters are delivered on the next working day and 95% on the second working day, making aerial letter transport essential.

Deutsche Post says that transporting letters by land instead of by air will reduce CO2 emissions per letter by about 80%.

Night flights to transport letters began in September 1961.

The volume of letters needing transport has dramatically fallen as people shift services and communications online.

Deutsche Post will, however, still rely on air transport for letters destined for abroad. That mail will be transported in the hold on regular passenger flights.

Source: Dw

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