Airlines accused of ‘putting profit earlier than planet’

Airlines accused of ‘putting profit earlier than planet’

Planes at Heathrow

A British Airways whistleblower has revealed an commerce-huge apply that intentionally provides weight to flights, rising greenhouse fuel emissions.

“Gasoline tankering” sees planes stuffed with further fuel, in most cases to care for some distance flung from paying bigger costs for refuelling at their destination airports.

It can probably presumably well mean further annual emissions equal to that of a spacious city.

BA said it became once fashionable to lift further fuel for “operational, safety and price causes”.

BBC Panorama has came across the airline’s planes generated an further 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide closing 300 and sixty five days through fuel tankering.

Cost financial savings made on a single flight also can even be as runt as valid over £10 – though financial savings can flee to a full bunch of kilos.

Researchers uncover estimated that one in five of all European flights own some yelp of fuel tankering.

The apply on European routes could presumably well consequence in additional annual greenhouse fuel emissions equal to that produced by a city of A hundred,000 folks.

Critics state the typical expend of the apply undermines the aviation commerce’s claims that it is some distance committed to lowering its carbon emissions.

John Sauven, Greenpeace UK’s govt director, steered the BBC this became once a “classic example of a company putting profit earlier than planet”.

He added: “Right here is why we are succesful of not uncover the funds for one more decade of believing company greenwash and waiting for the voluntary carbon reductions to seem.

“We would prefer tricky regulations to limit aviation’s emissions, because so long as there is money in polluting, they’ll pollute as powerful as they can.”

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Image caption

John Sauven known as for principles and regulations to be “more challenging”

World Airlines Group (IAG), the corporate that owns BA, says it desires to be the arena’s leading airline community on sustainability.

BA boasts it even prints its in-flight magazine on lighter paper to assign weight.

Yet BBC Panorama has seen dozens of interior BA documents that existing as a lot as six tonnes of further fuel were loaded onto planes on this vogue. It has furthermore seen evidence that Easyjet carries further fuel on this vogue.

Airlines can assign money from the fact that the price of aviation fuel differs between European destinations.

Accomplish a profit

BA insiders state the corporate – relish many airlines running short haul routes in Europe – has pc tool that calculates whether or not costs also can even be saved by fuel tankering.

The tool will calculate whether or not there could be a sign saving to be made. If there could be, crews load up the further fuel.

An example of documents seen by Panorama existing that a recent BA flight to Italy carried nearly three tonnes of further fuel.

The further weight intended the plane emitted bigger than 600kg of additional carbon dioxide – the identical emissions one person is accountable for on a return flight to New York.

The sign saving on that time out became once lower than £forty, but the documents Panorama has seen existing that it will also even be even lower than that.

IAG made an annual profit of €2.9bn (£2.6bn) in 2018, round eighty per cent of which came from BA.

A BA insider described the apply as “hypocritical”.

“For this form of major company to be attempting to assign such runt quantities while emitting so powerful further CO2 seems to be unjustifiable in the present climate,” he said.

BA said it became once fashionable apply for the airline commerce to lift additional fuel on some flights.

The airline said for BA this applies mainly to short-haul destinations “where there are valuable sign variations between European airports”.

It said the further emissions from the airline represented roughly two per cent of the entire further emissions generated by all airlines tankering fuel in Europe, in defending with study by Eurocontrol.


BA pointed out that since 2012 all flights within Europe are covered by the EU Emissions Trading Machine.

It added that from 2020 the corporate will offset all CO2 emissions from its UK home flights.

Easyjet said it has decreased the level of tankering in most up-to-date years and that it most advantageous takes peril on a puny percentage of flights for operational and commercial causes.

Eurocontrol, the physique which coordinates air traffic withhold an eye on for Europe, has calculated that tankering in Europe resulted in 286,000 tonnes of further fuel being burnt yearly, and the emission of an additional 901,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

It calculates that the apply saved airlines a total of €265m (£228m) a 300 and sixty five days.

Eurocontrol described the apply as “questionable” at a time when aviation is being challenged for its contribution to climate commerce.

But the BA whistleblower said: “I have been a BA worker for a extremely long time.

“I am very proud to be piece of BA but in all honesty it makes me sad and disappointed.”

Panorama: Can Flying Dash Green? is on BBC1 at 20:30 GMT on eleven November.