Hinterland Green

Monday, September 7, 2009

Delta Air Lines Under Fire for Running "Ghost" Flights from US to Heathrow to Meet Australian Quarantine Regulations

Delta Air Lines Inc. has come under attack by the Campaign for Better Transport, an environmental group, for flying empty planes across the Atlantic to be disinfected. The airlines admitted running "ghost" flights from the US to Heathrow in order to meet Australian quarantine regulations. According to the Guardian, authorities in Australia require inbound airplanes to be sprayed with insecticide to ward off malaria and dengue fever. Delta is not allowed to carry out the treatment in the US and the nearest airport with facilities sanctioned by the Australian quarantine and inspection service (AQIS) is Heathrow, which requires the carrier to make a number of trips to the airport over the past two months.

A Delta spokeswoman said: "Materials used for this process are approved and available for use in the United States; however, according to US regulations, these treatments must be carried out at designated AQIS locations outside the United States."

The Campaign for Better Transport said the round-trip taken by Delta's Boeing 777 jets operating the Los Angeles to Sydney route summed up the "wanton" attitude of airlines towards global warming. Delta is planning to stop its disinfection trips to Heathrow at the end of the month, but is expected to switch to a Chinese airport. (Source: The UK Guardian)

The aviation industry has been under pressure as a prominent producer of greenhouse gases and it has been the subject of a number of "ghost flight" stories.
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