Sans crew, British Airways flying empty planes’ across the Atlantic

November 14th, 2007 - 2:43 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov.14 (ANI): British Airways is flying dozens of empty planes across the Atlantic because it has no cabin crew to staff them.
Each one of these planes reportedly pumps out thousands of tons of carbon dioxide, and in some cases almost 70 times the average adult’s annual carbon footprint.
The ghost services, according to the Daily Mail, have been flying between Britain, Canada and the U.S. over the past fortnight.
Critics claim the flights are not being cancelled because the company fears it might lose valuable take-off and landing slots at Heathrow and Gatwick.
On November 4, BA Flight 179 crossed the Atlantic to New York completely empty. BA Flight 176 later flew back from the U.S. to Heathrow, also empty. Two others left Heathrow at the weekend - Flights 093 to Toronto and 279 to Los Angeles - both Boeing 747s.
The LA flight emitted an estimated 698 tons of CO2, 350 times more than the average car in an entire year.
At least two other empty flights - including one from Gatwick to Houston - have also departed in the last couple of days.
A BA spokesman said the practice was extremely rare and occurred when its “highly-complex” rostering system meant there were no cabin crew available for a particular flight.
He said it was better to fly empty planes one way if the return leg was full, than to cancel both legs. He denied it operated empty services just to avoid losing its slots under “use it or lose it” rules at London airports.
In 1990, BA’s total CO2 emissions stood at 10.6million tons. By last year the figure was 16.6million.
The BA spokesman said: “Due to the highly complex rosters of our 15,000 full-time and part-time cabin crew, on very rare occasions we have experienced a lack of availability of cabin crew for certain flights. It has only affected approximately 0.3 per cent of our global flying programme this month. Nevertheless this type of decision is not made lightly and we are working very hard to rectify the issue as quickly as possible.” (ANI)

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