BA reprimanded over environment claims

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has reprimanded British Airways for making false claims about the environmental impact of a new runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.According to the Times of London newspaper reports on its Web site,  the ASA has written to BA ordering it to withdraw a claim made by Chief Executive Willie Walsh in an email to customers that a new runway would reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Walsh said expansion would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 330,000 metric tons a year because aircraft would no longer have to waste fuel queuing for take-off or circling while waiting to land.

The Times reports that Walsh’s email implied the government had endorsed the claim about CO2 reduction. But he failed to make clear that, according to the Department for Transport’s consultation document, the new runway would raise overall CO2 emissions by 2.6 million tons a year by allowing an extra 220,000 flights.