Airways accused of ‘putting profit sooner than planet’

Planes at Heathrow

A British Airways whistleblower has printed an industry-extensive follow that deliberately adds weight to flights, growing greenhouse fuel emissions.

“Gasoline tankering” sees planes stuffed with further fuel, in most cases to make a decision on faraway from paying elevated costs for refuelling at their vacation build of dwelling airports.

It could presumably perhaps well indicate further annual emissions reminiscent of that of a dapper metropolis.

BA acknowledged it was once general to make a decision on further fuel for “operational, security and sign reasons”.

BBC Panorama has came across the airline’s planes generated an further 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide final year thru fuel tankering.

Fee financial savings made on a single flight could presumably perhaps well presumably be as exiguous as correct over £10 – though financial savings can meander to a entire lot of pounds.

Researchers luxuriate in estimated that one in 5 of all European flights luxuriate in some ingredient of fuel tankering.

The follow on European routes could presumably perhaps well consequence in further annual greenhouse fuel emissions reminiscent of that produced by a metropolis of 100,000 other people.

Critics speak the favored employ of the follow undermines the aviation industry’s claims that it is committed to lowering its carbon emissions.

John Sauven, Greenpeace UK’s executive director, instructed the BBC this was once a “classic example of a firm putting profit sooner than planet”.

He added: “Right here’s why we’ll not give you the money for one more decade of believing company greenwash and ready for the voluntary carbon reductions to appear.

“We need stressful regulations to restrict aviation’s emissions, because so lengthy as there could be money in polluting, they will pollute as noteworthy as they may be able to.”

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John Sauven referred to as for tips and regulations to be “more difficult”

Global Airways Community (IAG), the firm that owns BA, says it needs to be the arena’s main airline community on sustainability.

BA boasts it even prints its in-flight journal on lighter paper to construct weight.

But BBC Panorama has seen dozens of internal BA documents that repeat up to six tonnes of further fuel luxuriate in been loaded onto planes on this capability. It has also seen evidence that Easyjet carries further fuel on this capability.

Airways can build money from the fact that the worth of aviation fuel differs between European destinations.

Construct a profit

BA insiders speak the firm – treasure many airlines working immediate haul routes in Europe – has computer tool that calculates whether expenses could presumably perhaps well presumably be saved by fuel tankering.

The tool will calculate whether there could be an illustration saving to be made. If there could be, crews load up the further fuel.

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

The further weight intended the airplane emitted larger than 600kg of further carbon dioxide – the identical emissions one person is in payment for on a return flight to Unique York.

The worth saving on that chase back and forth was once not up to £40, nonetheless the documents Panorama has seen repeat that it could maybe most likely presumably perhaps well presumably be even decrease than that.

IAG made an annual profit of €2.9bn (£2.6bn) in 2018, round 80 per cent of which came from BA.

A BA insider described the follow as “hypocritical”.

“For this form of considerable firm to be looking out to construct such exiguous quantities while emitting so noteworthy further CO2 appears to be like unjustifiable within the unique native climate,” he acknowledged.

BA acknowledged it was once general follow for the airline industry to make a decision on further fuel on some flights.

The airline acknowledged for BA this applies essentially to immediate-haul destinations “where there are considerable sign variations between European airports”.

It acknowledged the further emissions from the airline represented approximately two per cent of the total further emissions generated by all airlines tankering fuel in Europe, in accordance to study by Eurocontrol.


BA identified that since 2012 all flights within Europe are coated by the EU Emissions Trading Gadget.

It added that from 2020 the firm will offset all CO2 emissions from its UK domestic flights.

Easyjet acknowledged it has diminished the extent of tankering in recent years and that it perfect takes build on a diminutive proportion of flights for operational and commercial reasons.

Eurocontrol, the body which coordinates air site site visitors decide watch over for Europe, has calculated that tankering in Europe resulted in 286,000 tonnes of further fuel being burnt yearly, and the emission of an further 901,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

It calculates that the follow saved airlines a entire of €265m (£228m) a year.

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

However the BA whistleblower acknowledged: “I’ve been a BA employee for a if truth be told very lengthy time.

“I’m very proud to be fragment of BA nonetheless in all honesty it makes me sad and disenchanted.”

Panorama: Can Flying Stir Green? is on BBC1 at 20:30 GMT on 11 November.

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