Three environmental campaigners have been fined for stripping off at Birmingham Airport.
The protesters wore nothing but red body paint when Thomson Airways promoted the UK’s first commercial flight fuelled by recycled vegetable oil last October.
Appearing at Solihull Magistrates Court this week, the members of anti-aviation group Plane Stupid pleaded guilty to contravening an airport bylaw.
Rosa Van Kesteren, 25, Paul Wilkinson, 28, and Liz Snook, 34, all of Chelsea Road, Bristol, were each fined £150 and ordered to pay costs of £80 and a victim surcharge of £15.
After the case they labelled Thomson’s claim that biofuels were green as “bare faced cheek”.
Liz Snook said: “Recycling veg oil is a great thing to do, but we don’t eat enough chips to cover even one per cent of land based vehicle needs, let alone flying.
“Biofuels in aviation are often grown on land stolen from some of the world’s poorest people.”
Thomson is among a growing number of airlines to trial biofuels, made from living things such as plants and their by-products.
Most come from agricultural crops, leading to criticism that growing and transporting them can create a bigger environmental footprint than using fossil fuels.
But scientists are now working on “second generation” biofuels, using food waste, sewage and algae.
One of the two engines on the October Thomson flight was powered with a 50/50 mix of conventional jet fuel and recycled vegetable oil, brought 5,000 miles from a refinery in Louisiana.
Thomson later ditched plans for a six-week trial of daily biofuel flights, saying one of their project partners was unable to continue, but it hopes to revisit the idea in the future.
Deirdre Kotze, Thomson Airways airline environmental manager, said: “We know the available volumes are limited and that it can never replace total fossil kerosene consumption, and neither can vegetable oils.
“We see current options as a first step in the right direction and we are exploring and supporting future alternatives.”