Airlines to raise fares over EU pollution tax

Emirates__AirbuAIRLINES around the globe have concluded plans to increase fares on international routes, particularly to Europe, following the introduction of Tax Emission policy by the European Union (EU).

Also to be affected are flights emanating from other countries and heading towards any of the EU member states. This is expected to affect Nigerian designated airline to London, Arik Air, a situation that could further harm the bottom line of the carrier.

Beginning this month, all airlines are required to hold emission rights in the form of CO2 certificates for flights to and from Europe. This year, 82 per cent of the necessary certificates will be awarded to airlines free of charge; however airlines will have to purchase another 15 per cent of the certificates, with three per cent being reserved for new airlines.

American airlines, African airlines and other United States-based airlines have already kicked against the carbon dioxide emission tax being imposed on airlines. China’s carriers said they won’t comply with the rules and India signaled it might attempt to scupper the EU plan.

Lufthansa German Airline had already informed all its passengers to brace up for higher ticket prices as it refuses to shoulder the costs of a carbon trading scheme at the centre of a brewing trade spat.

The world’s second largest long haul carrier after Dubai’s Emirates said it faced 130 million euros in extra costs this year and became the first major operator to announce possible surcharges since the EU scheme took effect on January 1, 2012.

Germany’s biggest airline said it would add the costs from the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme to its existing fuel surcharge, becoming the first carrier to provide details of how it plans to cope with the additional burden.

China Air Transport Association (CATA) urged Europe to either scrap or delay its initiative to include flights to and from the region’s airports in its emissions trading system as of this year.

India may ask airlines to withhold emissions data, a Civil Aviation Ministry official said, a move that would undermine the first expansion of the EU carbon cap-and-trade programme beyond its borders.

The warnings by China and India followed a declaration adopted in November by the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization calling on the EU to exempt international aircraft operators from its curbs on carbon.

The non-binding ICAO statement was supported by 26 countries, including the U.S., Russia and Japan, who said that the expansion of the EU programme was inconsistent with international law.

The EU, which wants to lead the global fight against climate change, decided that aviation should become a part of its carbon programme after airline discharges in Europe doubled over two decades and international organisations failed to enact emission curbs.