An environmental row has erupted after a budget airline advertised for budding actors to fill empty seats on superfluous flights in order to meet strict passenger quotas.
Flybe put on eight additional flights between Norwich and Dublin this weekend so that it did not miss out on a £280,000 rebate.
An advert on the StarNow.com website, a recruitment site for extras in films and television shows, offered £82 a day, stating:
"Extras aged 16+ needed for paid work flying to Dublin. You will be boarding an aircraft and flying to Dublin and then flying back into Norwich Airport."
Sources at Norwich Airport said that in a desperate bid to boost passenger numbers before the end of the financial year tomorrow, Flybe had laid on extra aircraft to make 11 flights from Norwich to Dublin this weekend instead of its usual three.
Flybe pays Norwich Airport a substantial sum to operate its services, but as part of the deal it qualifies for a rebate if it meets passenger quotas. But Flybe was 172 short of its 15,000 annual target on the Dublin route.
According to airport officials, many of Flybe's last-minute passengers will land at Dublin, leave the plane and enter the terminal, then wait for the next flight straight back to Norwich.