As countries opposing the European Union's (EU) emissions trading scheme (ETS) agreed on a basket of retaliatory measures at a recent meeting in Moscow, the aviation trade body the International Air Transport Association said it hopes that European states would pay heed to the move. Russia hosted a two-day meeting of countries opposed to the EU scheme.
"We hope that European states have heard this message from the Moscow meeting, and will be sincere facilitators at the International Civil Aviation Organisation, driving forward a global framework for aviation emissions reductions," Tony Tyler, IATA's director general and CEO, told Gulf News.
Alternatives for carriers
Under the EU scheme, which came into effect at the beginning of this year, airlines are expected to pay a carbon tax for using European airspace. The Russian meeting highlighted that each country has options to restrain its airlines from participating in the EU's carbon scheme, lodging a formal complaint with the UN's ICAO, ceasing talks with European carriers on new routes and imposing retaliatory levies on EU airlines.
"We don't want a trade war. But Europe's unilateral and extra-territorial EU ETS plans are clearly not acceptable to non-EU governments. ICAO has always been the forum where states have found global solutions for aviation on issues from safety to noise," Tyler said.
Among the Gulf carriers, Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways recently said it would increase the fuel surcharge by $3 (Dh11.02) per passenger starting March 1, and $0.03 per kilogram for cargo shipments in the wake of EU ETS.
Emirates, meanwhile, estimates the carbon tax will add an extra €40 million to its overall costs this year and well over half-a-billion euros in the nine-year period to 2020, with costs to be passed on to customers.