A British Airways whistleblower has revealed an industry-wide practice that deliberately adds weight to flights, increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Fuel tankering” sees planes filled with extra fuel, usually to avoid paying higher prices for refuelling at their destination airports.
It could mean extra annual emissions equivalent to that of a large town.
BA said it was common to carry extra fuel for “operational, safety and price reasons”.
BBC Panorama has discovered the airline’s planes generated an extra 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide last year through fuel tankering.
John Sauven, Greenpeace UK’s executive director, told the BBC this was a “classic example of a company putting profit before planet”.
He added: “This is why we can’t afford another decade of believing corporate greenwash and waiting for the voluntary carbon reductions to appear.
“We need tough regulations to limit aviation’s emissions, because so long as there’s money in polluting, they’ll pollute as much as they can.”