The first ever commercial flight from the UK powered by biofuels was met by naked protesters at the weekend.

Airport news for Birmingham,Flights on 10/10/2011.

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The Thomson Airways Boeing 757 took off or Lanzorote using a 50 per cent mix of fuel made from chip pan oil in one of its two engines. The so-called blend of ‘fatty acids and hydroprocessed esters’ was taken from the used cooking oil of hotel and restaurant kitchens around the UK and was combined with A1 jet fuel.

However, upon departure from Birmingham Airport, the plane full of holidaymakers was met by a group of naked protestors, dubbing themselves ‘Plane Stupid’. The group, which says that rainforests are often destroyed in the effort of making biofuel plantations, painted slogans such as ‘biofuels aren’t green’ on themselves in red body paint.

But Thomson’s Carl Gissing said the move was simply designed as a statement to encourage governments and the industry to develop more carbon emission-cutting fuel sources. The company is slated to begin a full biofuel program next year for operations at Birmingham airport.

Meanwhile, Joe Peacock said on behalf of Birmingham Friends of the Earth that the government could not simply ignore social and environmental problems created by trying to use plant-based alternatives to solve our addiction to fossil fuels.

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