TUI-owned airline Thomson’s first commercial flight between the UK and Lanzarote powered by sustainable biofuel today has been branded a ‘hollow PR stunt’ by environmental group.
Thomson says it will use a jet fuel derived from used cooking oil for the test flight and plans to start daily operations of biofuel-powered flights between Birmingham and Arrecife in early 2012.
The airline claims that sustainable aviation biofuel has the potential to up to 80% of CO2 emissions compared to traditional jet fuel.
But environmental group Friends of the Earth says the move will pave the way for rainforest destruction. According to its calculations, it would take the average person around a hundred years to generate enough waste cooking oil to fly one-way from the UK to the Canary Islands.
Friends of the Earth contends that the airline will instead have to use a biofuel derived from virgin plant oil from the US and babassu nuts from Brazil, which are in short supply and could force the company to use unsustainable alternatives.
“Biofuels won’t make flying any greener – their production is wrecking rainforests, pushing up food prices and causing yet more climate-changing emissions,” says campaigner Kenneth Richter.
For further information:
Busy week for biofuels at Paris Air Show (27-Jun)
UK restaurant group Carluccio’s to turn waste oil into biofuel (22-Jul)
06 October 2011