Air­lines rally against EU car­bon tax

The Washington Times Daily - - Business -

PARIS | Air­bus and six Euro­pean air­lines have writ­ten to four EU lead­ers at­tack­ing the car­bon tax im­posed by the Euro­pean Union, a source close to the dossier told AFP on Sun­day.

Plane maker Air­bus, Bri­tish Air­ways, Vir­gin At­lantic, Lufthansa, Air France, Air Ber­lin and Ibe­ria have writ­ten to the lead­ers of Bri­tain, France, Ger­many and Spain to warn them about its eco­nomic con­se­quences, the source said.

They ar­gue the tax could cost them bil­lions of dol­lars in lost or­ders and lead to the loss of the thou­sands of jobs.

French aero­space and de­fense group Safran and Ger­many’s MTU also put their names to the let­ters, to Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, French Prime Min­is­ter Fran­cois Fil­lon, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel and Span­ish Prime Min­is­ter Mar­i­ano Ra­joy. All four coun­tries helped found Air­bus.

“We ques­tion the uni­lat­eral na­ture of this mea­sure,” said the source, adding that they wanted talks with all those af­fected, within the In­ter­na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (ICAO).

Their ini­tia­tive was first re­vealed late Sun­day in the Fi­nan­cial Times.

It comes af­ter the head of the Air­bus par­ent com­pany EADS said Thurs­day that China had blocked pur­chases of Air­bus planes by Chi­nese com­pa­nies in re­ac­tion to the dis­puted tax.

Air­bus was be­ing sub­jected to re­tal­i­a­tion mea­sures, EADS chief ex­ec­u­tive Louis Gal­lois told re­porters.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port on the web­site of the French eco­nomic daily Les Echos, China’s decision to freeze Air­bus or­ders could cost the Euro­pean air­craft com­pany up to $12 bil­lion.

In the let­ter to Mr. Fil­lon, Air­bus chief Tom En­ders warned that the tax threat­ened more than a thou­sand jobs at the heart of the busi­ness and a thou­sand more in in­dus­tries sup­ply­ing Air­bus, Les Echos re­ported.

On Tues­day, the head of the In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (IATA) warned that the EU tax could pro­voke trade wars.

On Fri­day how­ever, Den­mark’s Cli­mate Min­is­ter Martin Lide­gaard said the EU would main­tain the tax on air­lines op­er­at­ing in its airspace so long as an in­ter­na­tional so­lu­tion had not been found. Den­mark cur­rently holds the EU’S ro­tat­ing pres­i­dency.

The car­bon tax im­posed on air­lines by the Euro­pean Union came into ef­fect on Jan. 1, but car­ri­ers will be­gin re­ceiv­ing bills only in 2013 af­ter this year’s car­bon emis­sions have been as­sessed.

More than two dozen coun­tries, in­clud­ing China, Rus­sia and the United States, have op­posed the EU move, say­ing it vi­o­lates in­ter­na­tional law.


Lufthansa air­planes park at the Dues­sel­dorf air­port in western Ger­many. Lufthansa is one of six Euro­pean air­lines to write to four EU lead­ers at­tack­ing the car­bon tax im­posed by the Euro­pean Union. The air­line says the tax could cost bil­lions of dol­lars and lead to the loss of thou­sands of jobs.

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