Members of the French branch of Greenpeace broke into Charles de Gaulle airport and proceeded to vandalize a parked Air France Boeing 777.
The aircraft that Greenpeace vandalized is a Boeing 777-228ER. Its tail number is F-GSPB, Boeing SN 29003. It left the factory in Everett in the spring of 1998, so it is nearly 23 years old. Air France is its only operator. The airline last flew it in mid-March 2020. They put it in long-term storage on the 18th of March in Charles de Gaulle, where it is today.
Fortunately for the jet that Greenpeace vandalized, it appears to have tape on all pitot/static ports, doors and other openings. To paint the aircraft, they used rollers and what first appears like a spray. It is probably the kind of hand-pumped sprayer that typically sees use for releasing pesticides and insecticides. An interesting choice.
Why Would Greenpeace Vandalize A Mothballed Boeing 777?
There are more mothballed Air France 777s in the same part of the airport. We don’t yet know how Greenpeace were able to enter the airport and proceed to vandalize the jet. But it appears they spent enough time to do it, while taking pictures and video next to it, and on it. It seems that the Greenpeace activists took issue with the French governments plans for aircraft that produce lower emissions.
Rather than trying for ‘greener’ planes, they think aviation should scale down massively, in favor of other forms of transport. For instance they think trains should be doing all routes taking up to six hours And it appears that Greenpeace’s method for illustrating this point, was to vandalize an aircraft. That this aircraft is for journeys that a train or ship would take several days to cover, seems irrelevant.
As we have discussed previously, painting and stripping paint off a plane is both time-consuming and challenging. It involves using powerful solvents, often toxic and dangerous for crews to use. Of course we don’t know what type of paint Greenpeace used to vandalize the jet. But previous initiatives, where they released paint into roads, did not involve biodegradable paints.
Before the pandemic, an international discussion about the need for lower emissions for air travel was taking place. Then the pandemic caused the biggest and most long-lasting reduction in air travel in history. It seems ironic that Greenpeace would vandalize one of the planes that stopped flying, for this reason.