Aviation spoils tons of kerosene for small financial profits by tanking excessive fuel
In order to get the cheapest fuel, big airlines buy much of their fuel in advance. This creates different prices at airports for each airline. Big airlines get usually the lowest prices at their home-bases. From there, airlines often fly their fuel over to other airports with higher prices. E.g. German Lufthansa flys it’s fuel from Munich to Amsterdam and the Dutch KLM flys it’s fuel from Amsterdam to Munich.
This practice is only profitable at low over-all fuel prices. Because the increase in fuel consumption, when carrying the extra weight, comes by cheap too. Therefore, low prices for fuel make airlines carry tons of fuel through the air for even the smallest differences in price.
The additional fuel consumption caused by this practice is 0.4% to 1.5% per flight, depending on route length and speed. The airlines profit for wasting 4-10 tons of fuel/pilot/year is about € 1.500,-. Eurocontrol calculates, that around 15% of all fuel has been airlifted before. This causes extra CO2 emissions per year matching those of a city with 100.000 inhabitants says the EUROCONTROL Think Paper #1 – Fuel tankering in European skies: economic benefits and environmental impact