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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 March 2007, 14:40 GMT
Greenpeace protest at BA flights
Gatwick Airport
Greenpeace said BA was encouraging "binge-flying"
An environmental pressure group is trying to get passengers to boycott a new British Airways (BA) service from Gatwick to Newquay in Cornwall.

Greenpeace said it was offering passengers booked on the first flight on Tuesday free rail tickets instead.

It accused BA of being an "irresponsible company flying in the face of climate science".

BA said in a statement: "We have made enormous efforts to address our impact on climate change."

The 140-seat Boeing 737 flights, from the West Sussex airport to Newquay will start from 69 return.

The airline previously flew the route until 2003 but dropped the service, which was picked up by Air South West, saying it was making a loss.

It has said the increasing popularity of Cornwall prompted a rethink.

'Binge-flying'

Environmentalists say air travel causes 10 times more damage to the climate than travelling by train.

"We hope people who are booked on the flight will think seriously about ripping up their BA ticket and taking up Greenpeace's offer instead," said a spokesman.

"We really have to do something about this culture of binge-flying that British Airways is doing so much to bring about.

"It will be difficult to reach our long-term climate change targets unless we curtail this huge growth in aviation."

BA said it was providing travel for people who wanted to get from Gatwick to Cornwall in one hour, rather than the five hours it took for the London Paddington to Newquay train.

"We have improved our fuel efficiency by 27% since 1990," it said.

"We are the only airline in the world currently undertaking emissions trading and have lobbied for many years for aviation to be included in the EU emissions trading scheme."




SEE ALSO
British Airways back in Cornwall
29 Jan 07 |  Cornwall

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