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Old December 21st, 2005, 06:41 PM   #21
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Dont forget RyanAir and EasyJet
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Old December 21st, 2005, 06:43 PM   #22
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Wait, Aer Lingus is a low cost airline? That's interesting. I guess it's kinda like how US Airways + America West is "joining together to create the worlds largest lowfare airline" as they say on their website. www.usairways.com The funny thing is that they seem to be the most expensive airline to fly out of my home city of Austin.

AA, Delta, Continental, NWA and Southwest are reasonable while United and US Airways are prohibitively expensive.
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Old December 21st, 2005, 07:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258


Wait, Aer Lingus is a low cost airline? That's interesting. I guess it's kinda like how US Airways + America West is "joining together to create the worlds largest lowfare airline" as they say on their website. www.usairways.com The funny thing is that they seem to be the most expensive airline to fly out of my home city of Austin.

AA, Delta, Continental, NWA and Southwest are reasonable while United and US Airways are prohibitively expensive.
My best friend flew from Berlin to Dublin last week for €14. I don't know what you consider it, but that is low cost to me
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Old March 28th, 2006, 04:39 PM   #24
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EU Expects Mandate To Solve Russian Overflight Row

EU Expects Mandate To Solve Russian Overflight Row
27 March 2006

BRUSSELS (Dow Jones)--The European Commission expects to receive a mandate Monday from European governments to solve a row with Russia about the millions of euros Moscow charges European airlines for flying over Siberia on their way to Asia, an E.U. spokesman said Monday.

Russia promised in 2004 to phase out their system of overflight charges by 2013. Brussels says Russia has done nothing to fulfill that promise to date and wants a mandate to pressure Moscow into action.

European airlines last year paid more than EUR300 million in charges for using Siberian air space, Brussels says.

"We hope to have a mandate from ministers today," E.U. transport spokesman Stefaan De Rynck told Dow Jones Newswires.

European Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said he was hoping for a mandate Monday afternoon.

European transport ministers were meeting in Brussels Monday to discuss a range of issues, including whether to hand Brussels the authority to negotiate over the charges with Moscow. That issue will be discussed Monday afternoon, De Rynck said.

European governments say Russia's methods for calculating the overflight charges aren't transparent and too high - a growing concern for carriers flying ever more frequently to China and Japan.

Moscow's promise to phase out its current system was crucial in helping secure Europe's support for Russia joining the World Trade Organization at the end of this year.

"We are finding the Russians are not moving on this issue despite the commitment," De Rynck said.

Brussels wants to use a negotiating mandate to propose how charges should be phased out and what system should be used in their place. European airlines cut hundreds of miles off their routes to Asia by flying over the northern reaches of Siberia.

Europe's executive Commission has been asking national governments for greater powers to negotiate several key chapters of Europe's airline markets. Brussels wants authority to make global airtravel deals with Russia and China. So far, European capitals are skeptical about handing over control of national airtraffic industries to Brussels.
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 07:09 PM   #25
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European Airline Profit Outlook

ANALYSIS-Sky-high fuel clouds Europe airline profit outlook
By Jason Neely, European Aerospace & Airlines Correspondent

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - With European airline profits at risk from soaring crude oil prices, the difference between winners and losers could boil down to hedges on fuel and more efficient planes.

Analysts say crude oil prices, which this week hit fresh highs over $70 a barrel, will squeeze airlines, whose biggest cost after wages comes from filling their fuel tanks.

Germany's Lufthansa is Europe's most hedged major airline, while the largest budget carrier, Ryanair, is fully exposed with no fuel hedges.

Most European airlines have locked in cheaper prices for at least some of their fuel by purchasing hedging contracts, and some have also passed on costs to passengers through fuel surcharges.

BA raised its surcharges on long flights this week, a move others could follow.

"We regard it as very likely that flag carriers like Lufthansa or Air France will follow," said WestLB Equity Markets analyst Frank Skodzik in a research report.

Analysts say the glimmer of good news in the dim fuel outlook is that underlying travel demand continues to grow, allowing Europe's airlines some flexibility to raise fares or surcharges.

Passengers on long flights on some of Europe's biggest airlines now face surcharges of more than 50 euros ($62).

NEW GUIDANCE

Profit guidance issued with a fuel assumption based on crude oil at $60 a barrel is out the window as prices atop $70, setting the stage for a wave of revised forecasts.

Hedging, surcharges and how fuel-efficient their planes are will determine how badly airlines are hit.

"In the current high oil price environment, the question of replacing older, less efficient fleet with newer, lighter aircraft and fuel-efficient engines has gained greater urgency," said Exane BNP Paribas analyst Nick van den Brul in a recent research report.

Air France-KLM and BA both report annual results next month, and analysts expect fuel woes will make for cautious outlooks for the fiscal year that began this month.

Exane's van den Brul believes Air France-KLM has a better mix of fuel hedging and new planes than rival BA.

"The fleet benefits to Air France-KLM are being taken mainly on its B777 range," he said, noting the Boeing Co. 777 burns around 20 percent less fuel per passenger per hour than the 747 jumbo jet.

BA said this week the recent rise in crude prices would slap another 200 million pounds ($356 million) on to its 2006 fuel bill, which is set to jump by 600 million pounds to 2.2 billion.

BUDGET RIVALS

Like Air France-KLM, top European budget carrier Ryanair is benefiting from a new fleet, with its fuel-efficient Boeing 737-800s helping fatten its operating margin.

Still, Ryanair is under mounting cost pressure as it flies completely without fuel hedges -- a rarity among its peers.

Ryanair has also refused to pass on fuel surcharges, though its chief financial officer told Reuters last month that the airline would likely push up fares. It reports results on June 6.

Advocates of surcharges call them a transparent way for carriers to pass fuel costs on to passengers. Critics call it window dressing on fare hikes and question why airlines with varying degrees of exposure to spot oil prices should be imposing similar surcharges.

One carrier with significant exposure is Ryanair rival easyJet, which also has a young fleet but is hedged on just 24 percent of its fuel needs.

Analysts say Europe's second-largest budget airline might reveal it has put more hedging in place when it reports mid-year earnings on May 3.

EasyJet's thinner margins leave it less room to breathe than Ryanair.

"A crude analysis shows that at a fuel bill of $700/metric tonne (of jet fuel, versus $600), we would have to lower our earnings estimates by 62 percent," he said, while noting that higher revenues and more cost cutting could help offset the fuel impact.

He said a similar estimate for Ryanair would cut the brokerage's estimates for the Irish carrier by 23 percent.

BA and Air France-KLM shares trade on 2006 forward price-earnings ratios of about 10, lower than Lufthansa at 14. The budget carriers trade higher, at about 18 for Ryanair and 20 for easyJet, according to Reuters Estimates.

(Additional reporting by Michael Smith)
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Old June 21st, 2006, 05:42 AM   #26
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EU Blacklist

What is the latest update on what are the current airlines that are banned from the EU? Are there any which the EU has re-considered and taken out?
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Old June 21st, 2006, 05:47 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLAA
What is the latest update on what are the current airlines that are banned from the EU? Are there any which the EU has re-considered and taken out?
Related thread :
http://skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=249846
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Old June 21st, 2006, 05:52 AM   #28
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Yes, thanks for the info, but I am asking for any updates, as of today? Aren't there any updates since that post?
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Old June 21st, 2006, 05:57 AM   #29
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I posted a new article in that thread a few minutes ago.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 06:37 AM   #30
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Thursday June 29, 11:01 PM
France launches air ticket tax to fund drugs for poor

PARIS (AFP) - A pioneering French tax on airline tickets to raise money for medicines in the developing world takes effect from Saturday, though only a handful of countries have indicated they will follow suit.

Passengers boarding aircraft in France will pay a surcharge of between one and 40 euros (1.25 and 50 dollars) from July 1 depending on their destination, and the money will go to an international fund to buy treatments for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The "air-ticket solidarity levy" has been vigorously promoted by President Jacques Chirac, but the airline industry is opposed to the scheme and of France's EU partners only Luxembourg has said it will implement the measure.

After an international conference in Paris in March, French officials said 10 other countries had signed up to the initiative: Brazil, Chile, Cyprus, Congo, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Madagascar, Mauritius, Nicaragua and Norway.

They have since been joined by Gabon, which will also introduce a charge on Saturday -- two euros on international flights in business and first class.

Britain says it is in principle in favour of an air-ticket levy but already has one in place that raises money for debt relief. Other rich nations such as the United States, Canada and Germany have rejected French overtures.

France hopes to raise 200 million euros a year for an International Drug Purchase Facility, also known as Unitaid, whose function will be to bulk-buy medicines for countries -- mainly in Africa -- that cannot afford them.

According to the French foreign ministry, between six and eight million people die every year from the three major epidemics, many of whom could be saved if given access to treatments.

"A child dies every 30 seconds in Africa and no-one cares," said Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, who has led an international lobbying effort to raise support for the drugs fund.

Among his successes was a deal with the International Football Federation (FIFA) under which balls bearing the Unitaid logo are exchanged by captains at the start of each match in the World Cup finals in Germany.

More than 40 countries have announced support for Unitaid, which should be operational by October once links are finalised with the World Health Organisation and other international agencies. The fund hopes to raise a billion euros a year by 2008.

France says the airline ticket tax is a "simple, equitable, and economically neutral tool" for financing the drugs fund, and that it is appropriate to target the airline business because "it is one of the industries that benefits most from globalisation with an average annual growth of five percent."

Under a law voted through parliament last December, passengers flying out of French airports will pay one euro in economy class -- and 10 in business -- if their destination is in the EU. For flights outside Europe, the surcharges are four and 40 euros, depending on the class.

Passengers who make a stopover in France of less than 12 hours, or who stay longer because of delays, are exempt.

French officials say that 70 percent of tickets bought are for economy class inside Europe. "Neither air transport nor the tourist industry will be affected. A contribution of a few euros will not stop anyone taking a plane," said Douste-Blazy.

But the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 265 airlines, has called on countries to abandon the ticket tax, which it says is unfair and inopportune at a time of rocketing fuel costs.

"Air companies play a vital role in the economic development of nations, enabling access to world markets for goods and people. Increasing the cost of air transport is like biting the hand that feeds development," said IATA president Giovanni Bisignani.

Views in the queue at an Air France office in central Paris were guardedly in favour.

"I am from Africa and I know what these problems are all about -- so yes I am for the tax. My only worry is that the money doesn't end up in the pockets of the bigwigs like it normally does," said Denis Thangou, a 38-year-old musician from Cameroon.

"In France there are far too many taxes. You're squeezed every time you buy something. So one tax more or less, what difference does it make? You end up just accepting it," said 68-year-old Parisian Jacqueline Czerniszewska.
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 07:03 PM   #31
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EU: Russia Must Cut Overflight Charges To Join WTO
3 July 2006

BRUSSELS (Dow Jones)--Charges for European airlines using Russian airspace on their way to Asia are the main obstacle for Russia joining the World Trade Organization, a European Commission said Monday.

"The E.U. wants Russia to join the WTO sooner rather than later," said E.U. trade spokesman Peter Power. Charges for planes using Siberian airspace are "the main thing slowing the process down," he said.

Russia promised in 2004 to phase out their system of overflight charges by 2013. European governments say Russia's methods for calculating the overflight charges aren't transparent and too high - a growing concern for carriers flying ever more frequently to China and Japan. Brussels says Russia has done little yet to change its charges.

"Russia seems to be indicating a greater commitment to resolving this. There are ongoing talks with officials," Power said.

Transit charges on trains traveling through Russia on their way to Baltic countries such as Estonia and Lithuania are another issue Moscow must resolve before joining the WTO, Power said.

Russia has vied for years to join the 149-member trade body that would give Moscow access to global markets, accelerate the country's economic reform and attract foreign investment. While Europe demands Moscow reform air and rail transit tolls before joining, the U.S. is wary of supporting Russia's WTO membership because of the country's booming market in counterfeited goods.

Europe is officially a supporter for Russian accession. Once Russia joins the trade body, Brussels wants to negotiate an ambitious bilateral trade agreement with Moscow. Once talks are launched, European negotiators will seek an agreement with Russia that will tear down trade barriers; create a stable market for buying and selling oil and gas and address national security, migration and human rights issues.
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Old July 4th, 2006, 07:00 PM   #32
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EU Parliament wants aviation tax, emissions trade
By Jeff Mason

STRASBOURG, France, July 4 (Reuters) - Airlines should pay a tax for jet fuel and join the European Union's emissions trading scheme to cut back on the rising amounts of greenhouse gases they produce, the European Parliament said on Tuesday.

International aviation is not covered by the Kyoto Protocol on climate change but its emissions are projected to grow in the coming years, causing concern among environmentalists, especially as the low-cost airline sector booms in Europe.

The European Parliament gave its backing to proposals by the executive European Commission to include airlines in the emissions trading scheme, where industries trade rights to emit carbon dioxide (CO2), the main gas blamed for global warming.

But the parliament suggested setting up a separate trading system for airlines on a trial basis first, to prevent carriers from buying up rights from power companies instead of tackling their own pollution problem.

"A separate, closed system for aviation is crucial at the very least as a pilot scheme," said Caroline Lucas, the Greens parliament member who sponsored the resolution.

The resolution said that if aviation eventually joined the full EU scheme, steps should be taken to ensure it did not distort trade among other sectors, for example by limiting the number of permits airlines are allowed to buy on the market.

The parliament vote is non-binding and does not involve an actual piece of legislation. But it is considered a signal of support by EU lawmakers for future laws on airlines and the environment. A large majority in the parliament voted in favour.

INDUSTRY DISMAY

The European Commission made a recommendation in September that all carriers taking off from an EU airport, regardless of nationality, should be included in the scheme. That proposal drew support from EU governments, which asked the Commission for draft legislation, with impact studies, by the end of 2006.

The parliament report called for an "immediate introduction" of a tax on kerosene or jet fuel for domestic flights and flights within the 25-nation EU, though it said exceptions could be made for non-EU carriers operating within the bloc.

It also suggested removing an exemption for the industry to value added tax (VAT), drawing harsh criticism from airlines.

"Any approach to aviation and the environment which calls for the simultaneous introduction of taxes on aviation fuel, VAT on airline tickets, environmental charges at airports and emissions trading scheme (ETS) totally ignores economic realities," Sylviane Lust, Director General of the International Air Carrier Association, said in a statement.

Andrew Sentance, Chief Economist at British Airways , said he disagreed with having a closed emissions scheme for his industry.

Airlines group IATA said the International Civil Aviation Organization was working on a global solution to aviation pollution, which accounted for 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Greens parliamentarian Lucas told a news conference the range of proposed measures in her report would brake the industry's rapid growth.

Under the current emissions trading system, EU countries set limits on how much CO2 companies in sectors like power and steel can emit. Those that overshoot their targets can sell extra permits, while those that pollute above their limit must buy allowances on the market or face a fine.

(Additional reporting by Gerard Wynn in London)
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Old July 6th, 2006, 05:36 AM   #33
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Wednesday July 5, 11:15 PM
Asia Pacific airline group opposes planned South Korean air tax

SINGAPORE (AFP) - An association of Asia-Pacific airlines expressed opposition to a plan by the South Korean government to levy an extra tax on air fares to raise aid money for poor countries.

Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), criticized the plan "as another example of what seems to be a rash of unwelcome and misguided new taxes targetting air travel."

Reports say that South Korea is proposing to impose a tax of 1,000-won (about one US dollar) on every air passenger leaving the country in a bid to raise 15 billion won annually.

The money is to be used in helping eradicate poverty in countries such as Africa. The fund is to be administered by the the government's international support body, the Korea International Cooperation Agency.

South Korea's national assembly is expected to approve legislative changes that will authorize the collection of the levy possibly from the first half of 2007, the Korea Times reported on its website.

But Herdman of the AAPA said in a statement the proposed taxes could further hurt an airline industry which has been hit by soaring oil prices.

"Travel and tourism, and air transport in general, create millions of jobs worldwide. Over-taxing aviation is counter-productive to the wider goals of promoting economic and social development and alleviating poverty," he said.

Herdman urged the South Korean government to "seriously reconsider its position and drop this ill-conceived proposal."

AAPA is a Kuala Lumpur-based association of 17 international airlines based in the region, including Korean Air and Korea-based Asiana Airlines.

The other AAPA members are Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, China Airlines, Dragonair, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Thai Airways and Vietnam Airlines.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 03:40 PM   #34
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EU Calls on Airlines to Halt Misleading Fares

EU calls on airlines to halt misleading fares

BRUSSELS, July 18 (Reuters) - The European Union's top regulator took on misleading air fares on Tuesday, telling airlines to include taxes and charges in ticket prices so consumers know up front how much a journey will cost.

The proposal, adopted by the executive European Commission, is its latest move to make the EU more consumer-friendly. Last week the body launched a plan to slash the cost of using mobile phones abroad.

The air fare rules are seen especially aimed at low-cost carriers such as Ryanair , whose low advertised fares often turn out much higher once taxes and other charges are included.

"Citizens must enjoy the benefits of the single market and have the possibility for more choice and quality. They must be able to easily compare fares between airlines," Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said in a statement. The proposal would also give the Commission authority to revoke or suspend airlines' licenses if they do not follow EU rules and calls for "better financial information" to reduce the number of bankruptcies among new airlines.
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Old September 28th, 2006, 07:11 AM   #35
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Branson unveils aviation overhaul to curb global warming

NEW YORK, Sept 27, 2006 (AFP) - British tycoon Richard Branson Wednesday urged the aviation industry to join his Virgin Atlantic airline in an ambitious plan to combat the potential "catastrophe" of global warming.

The billionaire founder of the Virgin Group of companies said that airlines around the world had to play their part in reducing commercial planes' carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to one-quarter.

"We need to accelerate the pace at which we reduce aviation's impact on the environment," Branson said in a letter to industry leaders including the bosses of British Airways, American Airlines and low-cost flyer Easyjet.

"We cannot ignore that aviation does create environmental problems -- around 2.0 percent of global CO2 emissions -- although equally it produces significant economic and social benefits," he wrote.

The plan unveiled in New York by Virgin Atlantic envisages the creation of "starting grids" for all aircraft departures -- a holding area consisting of several parking bays close to the runway.

Planes could be towed closer to the runway before take-off, substantially reducing the time that their engines need to be running, Virgin Atlantic said.

Arriving planes could also turn off their engines after five minutes and be towed to their stand, saving "considerable extra CO2".

The grids would reduce fuel consumption and on-the-ground CO2 emissions by over 50 percent before take-off at London's Heathrow airport for Virgin Atlantic planes, and by nearly 90 percent for Virgin flights at JFK Airport in New York, the airline said.

It would also mean that an aircraft flying from JFK to Heathrow could carry around two tonnes less weight in the air, it said.

Branson's letter was addressed also to engine and aircraft manufacturers such as Rolls Royce and Boeing, and airport operators including BAA in Britain.

It came after the flamboyant entrepreneur last week vowed to spend three billion dollars in the next decade on projects to combat global warming and reduce the dependence of Virgin planes and trains on fossil fuels.

To cut fuel consumption, Virgin Atlantic even plans to reduce the weight of its aircraft through using lighter paint on the exterior and lighter fittings inside the cabin.

That includes changing oxygen bottles from metal to carbon-fibre, and removing empty champagne and beer bottles which have been drunk before the plane leaves the stand for recycling.

Branson said that combined with an earlier and smoother descent by pilots coming into land, the changes would save over 150 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, or 25 percent of the world's aviation emissions.

"With global warming, the world is heading for a catastrophe. The aviation industry must play its part in averting that," he said.

The aviation plan was announced the same day that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a historic bill to make California the first US state to impose limits on the gases suspected to be behind global warming.

The Republican administration of President George W. Bush has refused to ratify the Kyoto Accord against global warming, arguing the agreement would cripple the US economy.

But Schwarzenegger and Branson recently joined forces with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to argue that the costs of doing nothing would be even greater.

Another offshoot of Branson's empire, Virgin Fuels, plans to invest in a California-based ethanol company called Cilion to develop alternatives to gasoline engines.

The entrepreneur denies his new zeal against global warming is one of the public-relations stunts for which he is famed. "If it's good for marketing, that's fine, but it's not my principal reason for doing it," he said.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 11:03 AM   #36
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Germany aims to cap airline's CO2 emissions
5 December 2006

FRANKFURT, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Germany wants to cap carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from airlines flying into its territory and to make them join the EU emissions trading scheme, a minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

"We want to put into practice the plans by the EU Commission to extend the emissions trading scheme to aviation," Germany's Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee was quoted as saying in the Handelsblatt business daily.

Tiefensee said the government planned to get all EU member states to agree to a EU proposal on the issue during Germany's EU presidency in the first half of 2007.

Along with domestic flights, airlines from third countries would be required to participate in the mandatory EU trading scheme if they landed or took off in the EU, he said.

The trade scheme is the main tool of the EU to comply with Kyoto Protocol targets to bring down greenhouse gases emissions, linked to global warming.

It sets incentives on reducing CO2 emissions and so far covers big polluters such as power plants and oil refineries but excludes airlines, a major and growing source of pollution.

An EU Commission draft proposal last month suggested setting caps on pollution permits for airlines from 2011, based on their CO2 emissions between 2004 and 2006.

Under the trading scheme, permits are issued to polluters. If they emit less than their quotas allow, they can sell surplus permits but if they overshoot them, they must buy extra credits.

A spokesman for the Berlin environment ministry said there was not yet a concrete date for the move as the Commission had to send its proposals first, expected by the end of this year

Airlines complain that Europe is going off in its own direction as the bloc has no jurisdiction over non-EU states, thus the legislation could be opposed and delayed.

Consumers fear that travel costs will go up.

An environmental expert at Dresdner Bank in Frankfurt said it had only ever been a question of time before the carbon trading scheme was widened to other industries.

"But the EU should also look to CO2-cutting solutions outside the bloc, namely involve the U.S.," said Dresdner's Armin Sandhoevel at a briefing hosted by the bank.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 08:51 AM   #37
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European Union to include airlines in pollution allowances trading program in 2011
By AOIFE WHITE
20 December 2006

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - Airlines that fly within the European Union will have to trade pollution allowances beginning in 2011, the European Commission said Wednesday, which could see travelers pay more for popular short-break trips.

Expanded rules covering all airlines that fly into the EU will take effect the next year, a move that would hit U.S. airlines on their lucrative trans-Atlantic routes.

It also angered U.S. officials. The U.S. mission to the EU warned that the "non-consensual" inclusion of foreign airlines could break international aviation laws and "will undermine rather than support international efforts" to limit carbon dioxide emissions from aircraft.

European airlines are generally in favor of the plan, since EU officials had warned them that refusing to back an emissions trading program would result in an aviation tax.

"EU emissions from international air transport are increasing faster than from any other sector," the Commission said. "This growth threatens to undermine the EU's progress in cutting overall greenhouse gas emissions."

The plan could add between 1.80 euros and 9 euros (about $2.40 to $11.80) to a typical return flight within Europe with higher price hikes for long-haul trips. The Commission claimed these would be "significantly lower" than oil price increases passed on to travelers.

Bowing to pressure from trade partners, the EU's executive arm will give all flights to and from EU airports another year to join the program.

All airlines -- based in the EU or elsewhere -- will have to trade carbon dioxide allowances beginning in 2012 for all flights to and from European airports, it said.

This will break international aviation law, said U.S. spokesman Robert Gianfranceschi. "The inclusion of non-EU airlines on a non-consensual basis runs counter to EU member states' legal obligations under the Chicago convention on international civil aviation and their bilateral air transport agreements, including with the U.S.," he said.

The EU's refusal to wait for the International Civil Aviation Organization to set up a global program "will prove unworkable," he said, calling on EU governments -- who must approve the plan -- to insist that it not be implemented without international backing.

The Air Transport Association of America, a trade group representing U.S. airlines, said it was disappointed by the commission's "misguided decision." The EU should work through the ICAO, the group said, which is "working on appropriate multilateral solutions" to the greenhouse gas issue.

"The EU is alone in its efforts to bypass that ongoing work," the ATA said in a prepared statement.

ATA's members include American Airlines Inc., Southwest Airlines Co., Delta Air Lines Inc., Northwest Airlines Inc. and United Airlines Inc., among others.

But EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas insisted that the plan was in line with international law, adding that he did not believe U.S. airlines would win a challenge to it. He called on their "moral obligation" to fight climate change.

"We need to act globally. We need to have the United States on board," Dimas told reporters. "It's a global problem. It needs a global solution."

He said Europe had to push ahead because international efforts were moving too slowly.

The program gives airlines a financial incentive to reduce emissions because they can sell allowances that they don't use. But if they fail to convert to low-carbon technology or increase their flights, they will be forced to buy additional allowances to release more carbon dioxide.

The EU said aircraft emissions make up 3 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions -- higher than any other industry -- but are increasing as cheap flights multiply and would likely double by 2020.

"Without action, the growth in emissions from flights from EU airports will by 2012 cancel out more than a quarter of the 8 percent emission reduction the EU must achieve to reach its Kyoto Protocol target," it said.

Someone flying from London to New York and back generates about the same level of emissions as the average person in the EU does by heating their home for a year, the Commission said.

Emissions will be capped at the average from 2004 to 2006, it said. Some allowances will be auctioned by national governments but most will be given away.

Airlines can trade carbon permits with other fuel-hungry industries such as power generators and steelmakers, increasing competition for a finite number of permits.

Scandinavian airline operator SAS AB said carbon trading was the best option because it did not punish economic growth. But it said it would have preferred to start with a global plan "in environmental terms and from a competitive perspective."

The Association of European Airlines, which represents Air France SA and British Airways PLC, backed emissions trading but warned that a poorly designed program could strip airlines of the funds they need to introduce cleaner technology. The International Air Transport Association also gave it a "cautious welcome."

But environmentalists claimed the EU plan was too weak, citing a report from the British think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, that said airlines could make up to 2.7 billion pounds (€4 billion; US$5.26 billion) in profit because they will get emissions allowances for free and pass on the costs in higher ticket prices.

One group, Transport and Environment, said the plan would barely reduce overall emissions and more measures were needed such as a tax on fuel and sales tax on tickets.

The EU says it will, by the end of 2008, suggest trading another greenhouse gas released by airlines: nitrogen dioxide.

EU governments and the Parliament must back the proposal -- and can make changes -- before it enters into force.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 08:52 AM   #38
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Finnair sees tens of mln euros CO2 costs from 2011
By Sami Torma

HELSINKI, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Finnish national carrier Finnair said on Wednesday it may face costs of tens of millions of euros from 2011 onwards, when aviation is included in the European Commission's emissions trading system.

The EU executive formally adopted a proposal earlier on Wednesday to include aviation in the trading system, giving international flights in and out of the EU a reprieve of a year before they have to join.

"We have been preparing (for) that, we are talking about costs of tens of millions of euros," Finnair's head of international relations, Kari Koli, told Reuters.

He said it was still difficult to estimate how many emissions credits Finnair would have to buy when the scheme begins, or what the cost of credits would be by then.

The European Commission said intra-European Union flights will join the scheme, aimed at cutting global air pollution, in 2011.

Koli said Finnair saw emissions trading as a key tool to addressing environmental concerns, but that the EU proposal would not apply globally and that there were elements likely to distort competition.

"We are worried that, as it only concerns the EU, and as we are in a global business, it will put us in a weaker position than airlines in third countries," Koli said.

"It (emissions trading) should be made into a global system."

Finnair spokesman Taneli Hassinen said it was impossible to estimate the potential impact on ticket prices, or to what extent Finnair would be able to pass the costs to passengers.

"Tickets are priced entirely based on the market situation," he told Reuters.

The EU emissions trading scheme -- its key tool to battle global warming and meet Kyoto Protocol emissions reduction targets -- currently puts a limit on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) industries like power plants and oil refineries can emit.

So far the scheme has excluded international aviation, which is a large and growing source of pollution as air travel booms.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 10:45 AM   #39
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ANALYSIS-Airlines to embrace carbon market, not taxes
By Gerard Wynn

LONDON, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Airlines will embrace plans by Brussels, to be unveiled on Wednesday, to include the sector in the European Union's carbon trading scheme, preferring this to a tax on passengers, flights or fuel.

But carriers are still bickering over the scope of the plans -- whether these should cover all flights or just those inside Europe -- possibly setting up years of legal disputes.

Aviation contributes to less than 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions currently, but the sector is growing rapidly, with emissions nearly doubling between 1990 and 2004 according to the European Environment Agency.

Pressure is building to curb greenhouse gas emissions as scientists say evidence for global warming is mounting.

Many airlines are keen to be included in a carbon trading scheme which may have a lesser impact on their bottom line than taxes, and could even raise profits.

"We're calling for this tougher and sooner," said Toby Nicol, spokesman for easyJet. "In the meantime we're getting nonsense airline taxes."

British finance minister Gordon Brown doubled taxes on air passengers two weeks ago, in a move which some UK carriers say imposes charges more than four times the cost of simply buying permits and so offsetting emissions.

Brussels is expected to announce on Wednesday plans to include just intra-EU flights in its carbon trading scheme in 2011, and all flights into and out of Europe from 2012.

But airlines with wide networks like British Airways want just European flights included, saying this will avoid legal protests from non-European airlines.

"If you try to apply this to all carriers wherever they're based there's all kinds of jurisdictional issues," said Paul Marston, spokesman for British Airways. "That just means there'll be big delays."

Low fare airlines like easyJet which fly predominantly within Europe want all international flights covered, fearing that otherwise they will bear a bigger burden of costs per flight.

"For us it's either everybody or nobody," said Nicol.

WINDFALL PROFITS

By inclusion in the European carbon trading scheme -- the EU's key thrust against climate change -- airlines would get a certain stock of permits to emit greenhouse gases but have to buy any extra if they exceed that cap.

They could make big profits from the scheme if they passed on to consumers the cost of permits which they get for free, as power companies have done under the scheme, now two years old.

"It would be perverse if the first attempt to curb aviation emissions ended up giving the sector huge windfall profits," said environmental group WWF's Keith Allott.

Some industry is resisting a simple solution -- to auction permits rather than give them away free.

"I would include (aviation) in the emissions trading scheme and auction 100 percent (of permits), and direct those funds into research, development and deployment," said Michael Rea, Director of strategy at the Carbon Trust, which spearheads Britain's drive to a low-carbon economy.

"Whether you like it or not aviation is a consumer need. What's important is to incentivise aircraft manufacturers and operators to innovate."
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Old January 27th, 2007, 07:30 AM   #40
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EU Tackles Rising Airport Costs

EU unveils plans to tackle rising airport costs



BRUSSELS, Jan 24, 2007 (AFP) - The European Commission laid out plans to tackle skyrocketting airport fees charged to airlines, and ultimately to passengers, by making the system more transparent and setting up independent regulators.

With airport fees on the rise, EU Tranport Commissioner Jacques Barrot acknowledged that recently there had often been "a conflictual climate between airlines and airports".

He said that stepping up transparency on the one hand and introducing regulators to referee disputes on the other would create a "double system that should allow for fee costs to be moderate".

The airport fees, which make up four to eight percent of airlines' operating costs, are paid for take-offs and landings, parking, security and passenger handling.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 15 of the 25 most expensive airports are in Europe, with Paris, Frankfurt and Athens airports among the top.

Airlines are angry that airport fees have taken off in recent years while they have struggled to cut costs.

Barrot said the independent regulator system was already in place and working in Britain and that governments should not be handed the role because they "sometimes favour one company or might want to privatise an airport... and to boost its revenues".

The Commission came up with its proposals only after "extremely thorough talks" with airport authorities and airlines, Barrot stressed.

The airlines argued that many European airports had substantially increased their charges in recent years, and while they themselves had continued to offer low cost flights in a cut-throat industry.

The airports argue that the rising charges are forced on them by the need to adapt to accommodate increasing air traffic and meet new security requirements in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States.
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