Monday, November 11, 2019

British Airways Fuel Tankering Debacle: Environmental Hypocrisy in the Airline Industry?

After a British Airways whistleblower’s recent revelations, is the global airline industry as a whole guilty of “environmental hypocrisy”?

By: Ringo Bones

A British Airways whistleblower has just recently revealed an industry-wide practice that deliberately adds weight to flights that invariably increased greenhouse gas emissions on every flight. A practice called “Fuel Tankering” sees planes filled with extra fuel because they fill up on airports where the aviation fuel is priced cheaper than their home base or their final destination airports. After the British Airways’ whistleblower’s revelations on the BBC Panorama, it shows that the British Airways’ fleet of planes generated an extra 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide as of 2018 through fuel tankering.  Cost savings made on a single flight range from as small as just 10-quid or 10 UK£ - but in some situations, the savings can run for hundreds of pounds.

British Airways were accused of “environmental hypocrisy” and “green washing” after airing adverts and public relations spin on the airline company’s commitment to lower their greenhouse gas emissions and more recently on their commitment on solidarity with the global Climate Emergency movement.  If the global airline industry had been practicing fuel tankering during the past few years, their overall additional carbon dioxide emissions would be an additional 900,000 tonnes per year. John Sauven, Greenpeace UK’s executive director, told the BBC that this was a “classic example of a company putting profit before planet”

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