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Old February 14th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #41
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Business travellers have role in saving environment: EasyJet chief

LONDON, Feb 12, 2007 (AFP) - Business executives should be more economical with their company's corporate travel budgets for the sake of shareholders, but also for the sake of the environment, the founder of budget airline EasyJet wrote in the Financial Times on Monday.

"Despite the fact that climate change dominated the agenda in Davos (the Swiss city that hosted the World Economic Forum last month) this year, I did not detect any abatement in the use of private jets by moguls who gathered there to save the world," Stelios Haji-Ioannou wrote in the business daily.

"Being frugal with shareholders' money when it comes to corporate travel is, by an amazing coincidence, better for the environment too."

Haji-Ioannou threw his backing behind a global emissions trading scheme that included the world's airlines, but added that business executives should give more thought to the way they travel as part of their work.

"Executives should realise that flying on premium class on short-haul flights is expensive on the corporate budget as well as the environment -- and for very little actual benefit," he wrote.

"Should people really be driving 4x4s when a 'smart car' would do the job? And wouldn't the train work just as well for day-to-day commuting?"

"The underlying theme here is that being economical with the travel budget equals being economical with the planet's resources."
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 06:22 AM   #42
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Virgin's Branson to shun thirsty 4-engined planes

LONDON, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Virgin Group boss Richard Branson said on Friday he would aim to avoid buying fuel-thirsty four-engined aeroplanes in future to curb fuel costs and the environmental impact of his fast-growing airlines.

Fears that CO2 emissions from airlines are fuelling climate change will not reduce demand for air travel, he added, but innovation in biofuels could provide a solution in the next decade.

Virgin Atlantic's fleet of 38 planes all have four engines, and it has six four-engined Airbus A380 superjumbos on order.

But in April the airline said it was buying 15 of Boeing's new fuel-efficient carbon-composite 787 Dreamliner jets with two engines, which burn 27 percent less fuel than the Airbus A340s they will replace.

"Global warming has become a priority, but it also makes good economic sense to be eco-friendly," Branson told reporters, adding he favoured two-engined jets for the future. "We've just announced the 787, which has two engines."

In the past Branson favoured four-engined planes because he said passengers, staff and pilots preferred them.

But aviation's impact on the environment has become a hot topic in Britain this summer, with climate change protesters camping at London's Heathrow airport to protest against the industry's rapid expansion.

DIRTY BUSINESS

From 3 percent of mankind's total contribution to global warming in 2005, aviation's emissions are set to rise by a factor of two to five by 2050, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a major report this year.

Branson, who was in London to promote the PICNIC environmental innovation competition, doubted travellers would be deterred by the figures and called on politicians to act.

"Realistically, flying is something people need to do and will do," he said. "I don't think people will change their habits if it affects their lifestyle."

"It's up to business leaders and politicians to come up with ways of reducing emissions," he added. "I suspect governments should make sure fuel prices don't drop."

Virgin is developing biofuels for aircraft alongside Boeing and engine-maker GE Aviation and plans to test them next year.

"We've said we will fly a jet engine on a 747 using biofuels sometime next year, people say the end of next year," said Branson. "But I believe we'll be able to bring that forward. We have to make sure it's economically viable to roll out across the Virgin fleet."

"Hopefully, ten years from now our planes can be carbon neutral," he added. "It's not just charitable. We've got to come up with a fuel that knocks oil for six."

Branson has pledged that for the next 10 years all profits from his 51 percent stakes in Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains will be invested in renewable energy.

"I've got a dirty business with my planes... Let's put some money into doing something about it," he said.

Branson also holds smaller stakes in Australian airline Virgin Blue, Malaysia's AirAsia X, U.S. low-cost airline Virgin America and Virgin Nigeria.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 07:12 PM   #43
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Cathay Pacific chief hits out at anti-aviation critics

HONG KONG, Sept 19, 2007 (AFP) - The chief executive of Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific said Wednesday the aviation industry had been unfairly demonised for its role in climate change, and that a more rational debate was required.

Tony Tyler said perspective needed was about the size of the airline industry's emission of greenhouse gases, which are blamed for global climate change.

"I get really fed up with things that are written or said in some parts of the world media (about aviation's responsibility for climate change)," he told a meeting of the Asia Pacific Aviation Media Association.

"Aviation in Europe has become public enemy number one. To be fair, the industry was a bit slow to see that dynamite-laden freight train headed in our direction."

The European Union is considering plans to limit carbon emissions from airlines from 2011 to step up the fight against global warming and recently Britain doubled its air passenger duty.

Tyler said the aviation industry was responsible for just two percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, one of the main greenhouse gases, compared to the much bigger emitters such as power generation, but took a larger share of the blame.

He insisted he did not underestimate the significance of the climate change issue, and that aviation was only part of the problem.

"We need a more rational and sensible debate," he said.

"I think it is very important to set a context. We contribute two percent of global CO2 emissions. It is also growing, that is not acceptable.

"Singling out aviation distracts from the task of putting together effective a set of initiatives that are pretty urgently required."

He added that aviation's role as a key driver of economic growth should be better recognised.

Tyler conceded that Cathay's carbon footprint had increased in recent years to reflect its growth, but that it had improved energy efficiency and introduced measures to offset its carbon emissions.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 08:06 PM   #44
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easyJet puts itself at forefront of green-aviation debate
21 September 2007

LONDON (Thomson Financial) - No-frills airline easyJet PLC this week put itself at the forefront of the green debate by calling for the scrapping of UK air passenger duty (APD) in favour of a levy which taxes aircraft rather than passengers.

The Luton-based carrier wants to see APD scrapped in favour of a tax that grades aircraft according to their carbon dioxide emissions and journey length. APD charges passengers 10 stg for each short-haul flight out of the UK, rising to 40 stg for an economy-class ticket on long-haul journeys.

'The time has come to scrap APD and replace it with a 'polluter tax' that has at its heart a very simple notion -- those that fly on airlines that pollute less, like easyJet, should pay less,' easyJet's chief executive Andy Harrison told reporters at a briefing this week.

Regional airline Aer Arann and environmental campaigning group Friends of the Earth have both backed easyJet's suggestion, saying they are in favour of a tax that encourages airlines to invest in the most environmentally-efficient aircraft for their routes.

easyJet's proposal was made alongside the release of its new report: 'Towards Greener Skies: The Surprising Truth About Flying And The Environment', earlier this week. The report claims no-frills airlines are disproportionately hit by APD and says airlines which operate less emitting fleets than others should be rewarded by paying less tax.

Just under half of easyJet's flights leave from UK airports, meaning the budget airline is one of the carriers' most affected by APD. UBS analyst Tim Marshall said, APD, 'as a flat tax, actually hits the lower-fare airlines more'.

Ryanair Holdings PLC and easyJet have described APD as just another way of raising revenue for the Treasury. However, easyJet's new proposal would benefit the carrier for a number of reasons.

easyJet likes to keep costs low, meaning the consumption of carbon-emitting fuel is kept as low, per passenger, as possible. The carrier also invests heavily in updating its fleet with more energy efficient planes.

Under easyJet's proposal, a flight from London to Frankfurt on a new plane would incur a lower charge than taking the same trip on an older model, regardless of the number of passengers are on board.

easyJet's standard aircraft, the Airbus' A319, usually has 124 seats but the airline, which has no business or first class seats on board, flies with 156 seats. The airline also fills the majority of its seats and last month recorded a load factor -- how full its flights are -- of 87.4 pct, significantly ahead of the likes of British Airways (BA). easyJet's report claims the fact it's flights are fuller than other legacy carriers means that 27 pct less fuel is used per flight.

'Reforming APD in the way easyJet suggests would almost certainly be in its own interests but the firm is being a good corporate citizen by dealing with the issue in a way that is more constructive than Ryanair's more strident method of megaphone diplomacy.

'easyJet has adopted a much more measured and constructive tone that is likely to be more effective if the outcome is a settlement that works to its benefit. But you can't blame them for seeking to advance their own interests in the process,' transport analyst Douglas McNeill at Blue Oar Securities told Thomson Financial News.

In most countries around the world, aviation is the fastest growing source of carbon emissions. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that by 2050 aviation will account for 4 pct of all CO2 released by human activity.

In spite of this it is unlikely that BA and Virgin Atlantic, both of which operate older fleets and have less of a load factor than easyJet, would welcome the low-cost carrier's idea, preferring to wait for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

Under the EU ETS large emitters of carbon dioxide within the EU are obliged every year to give back an amount of emission allowances to the government that is equivalent to their CO2 emissions in that year.

'I would guess the likes of BA and Virgin Atlantic would prefer to pin their hopes on the introduction of the EU ETS coming in around 2012. They would probably rather operate under that system and would hope when it comes in APD would be discontinued,' said McNeill.

easyJet also unveiled its vision of a short-haul aircraft, or 'EcoJet', that it hopes will generate 50 pct less CO2 than its current planes alongside the report. The carrier said the narrow-bodied plane would have two open rotor engines above a wide tail fin, with a body constructed of carbon composites and said it hoped it could be delivered by 2015.

Despite easyJet's proposal and the many green measures being taken by airlines, Alice Bows, an aviation researcher at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, claims budget airlines continue to fuel demand by creating new routes and offering incentives to get people on their planes.

The International Air Transport Association's (IATA) world airline passenger statistics for 2006 showed more than 40 mln cross-border passengers flew with Ryanair during the year, while some 22 mln passengers flew with easyJet.

However, Blue Oar's McNeill believes image concerns could be behind many of the green moves made by Britain's budget airlines.

'There's an important parallel here with the retail sector where all the big food retailers have been emphasising their green credentials. That is because they realise that these credentials are an important part of a modern consumer brand and easyJet has clearly arrived at the same conclusion,' he said.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 05:45 AM   #45
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INTERVIEW-Russia to sign Siberian air pact -Mandelson

MAFRA, Portugal, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Russia's Vladimir Putin has told EU leaders Moscow will sign a long-delayed pact to phase out fees charged to airlines flying over Siberia, EU trade chief Peter Mandelson said on Friday.

Signing the agreement, nearly a year after it was first hammered out, would potentially remove an irritant to Moscow's bid to join the World Trade Organisation.

"President Putin said that our agreement would be signed," Mandelson told Reuters after a summit meeting between Russia and the 27-nation bloc.

Putin did not say when Russia would sign the pact but transport authorities from both sides settled technical problems last week that had held up the signature, Mandelson said.

"There's therefore no impediment to the agreement being signed, and we're glad that President Putin has indicated that that signing could now take place."

Though not officially linked to Russia's quest to join the World Trade Organisation, the EU would like the issue -- along with better protection of intellectual property and other concerns -- to be solved before blessing Moscow's WTO bid.

Russia agreed a year ago to reduce the charges, the proceeds of which go directly to Russian carrier Aeroflot, and have them scrapped completely by the end of 2013.

The pact resolved a 20-year dispute with the European Union and paved the way for EU carriers to increase routes to Asia.

But the agreement has languished since then while further technical details were negotiated between the two sides.

Mandelson said he was hopeful of progress on another dispute which is directly related to Brussels backing Russia's WTO bid -- Russian export duties, especially on timber, which are a big concern for paper producers in Finland and Sweden.

Mandelson told Reuters that Moscow believed it was committed, under a 2004 deal with Brussels on WTO accession, to eliminate the export duties only once it joins the world trade body.

European Commission officials have previously said their understanding of the deal was that Russia should cut the duties before accession.

"I am hopeful that if we can reach an accommodation on the basis of the 2004 agreement, it will be possible to safeguard trade flows between now and the time of the accession, when, as (Putin) said, the duties will be eliminated," Mandelson said.

Another issue that the EU wants Russia to resolve under the terms of the 2004 deal are its railway fees that Brussels says unfairly favour Russian ports. (additional reporting by William Schomberg)
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Old November 13th, 2007, 08:47 AM   #46
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Europe airlines could be forced to close Web sites
12 November 2007

BRUSSELS, (Reuters) - Over half of Europe's airlines including Ryanair could be forced to close their Web sites next year if they fail to remedy problems shown by the EU consumer affairs watchdog in a probe carried out in September.

The results of the investigation to be published on Wednesday and obtained by Reuters says "over 50 percent of all Web sites showed irregularities, in particular relating to price indications, contract terms and clarity of proposed conditions."

"Companies will be contacted by authorities and asked to provide clarification or change their practices in four months. Those who fail to do so could face legal action leading to fines or closure of their Web sites," the report says.

The results do not identify any airlines in particular, but the European Union's Executive Commission intends to "publish a list of companies concerned" in four months' time.

Last month, Spain's consumer rights watchdog said it had found misleading information in seven of 12 airline ticket Web sites including Ryanair -- Europe's biggest low-cost airline.

The Spanish authorities also found faults with Spanish carriers Vueling , Iberia and Spainair.

"Ryanair and those other companies in the Spanish investigation are on our radar," a European Commission source told Reuters.

The Brussels investigation, known as a "consumer sweep," focused on unfair pricing, hidden charges and terms and conditions not translated properly. The sweep was carried out with the help of 15 EU national authorities and Norway.

Those airlines at fault were found guilty of practices including the following:

- The price of the ticket is first indicated without airport taxes and additional fees

- Offers promising tickets for free or at a low price, but such tickets are unavailable when the consumer wants to buy them

- Tick boxes for insurance or additional services are ticked "yes" by default, trapping the consumer into buying unwanted items or being included on spam mailing lists

- General terms of sales are not provided in the language version used by the consumer during the booking procedure - or not available at all in any language

- No information is given about the rights and procedures of cancellation, transferability and ability to change dates.

Belgium had the worst number of incidents, with 46 of 48 Web sites investigated found to be at fault. Of the 20 Web sites probed in Austria, none was found to break EU consumer rules.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 02:17 PM   #47
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Ryanair Responds To Newspaper Reports
13 November 2007
Edited Press Release

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Ryanair Tuesday welcomed the latest European Commission leaks about airline pricing. It has been reported in Tuesday's newspapers that the European Consumer Affairs Commissioner, Maglena Kuneva has carried out an investigation into airline price advertising.

Ryanair is confident that any such investigation will highlight:

1) That no other airline matches Ryanair's low fares availability with over 50% of all seats (25 m this year) sold at the lowest two fares.

2) Ryanair's average fare of EUR44 is the lowest in Europe, with Easyjet's (EUR66) 50% higher than Ryanair's. Ryanair's average fare is half the price of Aer Lingus' (EUR91) and less than a fifth of Air France (EUR220), Lufthansa (EUR237) and British Airways' (EUR268) average fares. Only Ryanair offers E.U. consumers a lowest fare guarantee.

3) Ryanair is also the only airline to guarantee no fuel surcharges ever, while British Airways, Air France and Lufthansa continue to raise their unfair fuel surcharges, despite having hedged their fuel at $65 to $75 per barrel, some $25 below market prices.

All prices advertised on Ryanair.com's home page and all of Ryanair's media advertising is fully tax inclusive.

Over 95% of Ryanair's passengers currently decline optional insurance on Ryanair.com, which conclusively demonstrates that it is both easy to use, easy to decline and entirely optional.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 05:48 PM   #48
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EU parliament tightens airline emissions rules

STRASBOURG, France, Nov 13 (Reuters) - All airlines should join the European Union's emissions trading system in 2011 and face tighter pollution caps than first proposed, the European Parliament voted on Tuesday.

Lawmakers voted in favour of a bill that would include all flights entering and exiting the 27-nation bloc in the emissions scheme at the same time.

The executive European Commission originally proposed intra-EU flights join the scheme in 2011 and all international flights from 2012.

The trading scheme is the EU's key instrument to fight global warming. It sets limits on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that industry may emit. Companies buy or sell permits based on whether they overshoot or undershoot their targets.

Airlines are not currently included, however, and the United States and other countries have fought against their addition.

Lawmakers voted to increase the amount of permits that airlines must buy upfront at auction to 25 percent from 2011 and said the sector's cap should be set at 90 percent of average emissions from the period 2004-2006, tighter than the 100 percent proposed by Brussels.

The plan must now go to EU governments for potential changes and approval. It must be approved by parliament and EU ministers before it can become law.

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told parliament on Monday the Commission believed a two-step approach with intra-EU flights included a year before intercontinental flights would help convince other nations that the EU scheme was workable.

But parliament members felt two dates would put European airlines at a competitive disadvantage.

"We want to see neutrality in terms of the impact on competition and we don't want to see some operators given a competitive edge compared to others," said Peter Liese, the German conservative deputy steering the bill through the European Union assembly, during Monday's debate. (Reporting by Jeff Mason, editing by William Schomberg/Dale Hudson)
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Old November 15th, 2007, 03:42 PM   #49
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FACTBOX-EU executive warns airlines over Web sites

Nov 14 (Reuters) - Over 200 European Web sites selling airline tickets, including many run by leading airlines, were warned by the European Commission on Wednesday that they face being shut down unless they stop misleading consumers.

Below are some facts about the investigation, called a "sweep", into the Web sites:

When was the probe carried out and by whom?

From Sept. 24 to 28, authorities from 15 EU states and Norway investigated 446 Web sites.

What about the other 12 EU states?

According to the Commission, some countries including Britain, Germany, Ireland and Poland had already carried out their own "sweeps" which they submitted to Brussels before September.

Other countries have told the Commission they will submit their data before the end of the year. A compilation of results from all 27 member states will be published in January.

What are the offences?

- The price of a ticket is first indicated without airport taxes and additional fees

- Tickets are promised for free or at a low price, but are unavailable when the consumer wants to buy them

- Tick boxes for insurance or additional services are marked "yes" by default, trapping the consumer into buying unwanted items or being included on spam mailing lists

- General terms of sale are not provided in the language version used by the consumer during booking -- or not available at all in any language

- No information is given about the rights and procedures of cancellation, transferability and ability to change dates.

Who were the offenders?

Belgium had the worst number of incidents, with 46 of 48 Web sites investigated found to be at fault. Of the 20 Web sites probed in Austria, none was found to break EU consumer rules. Greece and Cyprus also found no offenders during their probes.
Code:
 Country    Number of searches    Number which break rules
 Sweden         32                16
 Bulgaria       54                18
 Denmark        62                25
 Greece         13                 0
 Finland        30                20
 Cyprus          8                 0
 Lithuania      40                23
 Belgium        48                46                
 Portugal       16                11
 Spain          11                 7
 Italy          11                 9
 Austria        20                 0
 Norway         31                22
 France         31                13
 Estonia        26                14
 Malta          14                 2
 Total         447               226
What are the punishments?

Possible measures include ordering a company to change or cease a prevailing practice, imposing fines, or closing Web sites. National enforcement bodies are obliged to take measures -- repeatedly if needed -- until the infringement has ceased.

If a national authority fails to act, the European Commission could drag the country to the European Court of Justice, Europe's highest court. (Compiled by Darren Ennis, Editing by Erica Billingham)
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Old November 15th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #50
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Is environmentally responsible travel possible?
15 November 2007
The Globe and Mail

When it comes to the idea of environmentally sustainable air travel, many skeptics roll their eyes. The notion that airline passengers can simply pay a fee that goes toward programs to help neutralize, or offset, the impact of airline travel doesn't get at the real heart of the problem, critics say.

But supporters of so-called green travel say such offset programs are an important tool in fighting climate change. Airline travel “has a disproportionately large impact on the climate system,” notes the Vancouver-based David Suzuki Foundation. “It accounts for 4 to 9 per cent of the total climate-change impact of human activity.”

The concept behind green air travel is simple:

• Fossil-fuel burning airplanes create carbon emissions. The longer the flight, the more the emissions.

• A specific flight's emissions can be calculated on a per-passenger basis.

• A passenger can pay, either to the airline or to an outside company, what amounts to a user fee to offset his share of the flight's negative impact.

• The fee goes toward environmental sustainability – tree planting, the purchase and preservation of green space, efforts to halt soil erosion, and investment in solar or wind-power projects, for example.

Air Canada passengers, for example, can donate $1.70 to offset the carbon cost of a flight from Toronto to Montreal, or $54.27 for a flight from Toronto to Sydney, Australia; the money goes to a forestation project in Maple Ridge, B.C., arranged by not-for-profit organization Zerofootprint Inc.

No audit trail

The trouble is, many companies involved in the voluntary carbon-offset sector – estimated at being worth about $4-billion (U.S.) by 2010 – don't provide an audit trail of where the donated money goes, making it difficult to ultimately assess whether green-travel programs really make a difference.

Carbon offsetting “is not the perfect solution, but it is a step in the right direction,” says Mike Greenwood, vice-president, sales and marketing, of MKI Travel & Conference Management in Ottawa.

He says critics who think carbon offsetting is “just a licence for guilt-free travel” should look at the bigger picture.

“No one would claim that [carbon offsetting] directly reverses the impact of one's travel,” Mr. Greenwood says. “But, just like recycling, it does have a positive effect on our global warming situation.”

MKI Travel has teamed up with the UN Secretariat for Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to manage the global travel requirements of CBD's employees, delegates and regional offices for the next three years.

Mr. Greenwood says his company's offset program, dubbed MKIgreen, is the first to create “a fully automated program and present it as a corporate solution.” MKI tracks the average carbon footprint for each flight booked and automatically calculates the financial contribution needed to offset the carbon emissions generated.

The customer decides how much it wants to pay, and the money is invested in the Green Belt Movement, a non-profit body that organizes poor rural women in Africa to plant trees, combatting deforestation and impeding soil erosion. MKI manages the transactions and guarantees that the entire contribution is invested in the Green Belt Movement.

“It is difficult and extremely time-consuming for companies to co-ordinate the offsetting of carbon emissions,” Mr. Greenwood explains. “This automated process is needed to track all of an organization's carbon emissions, and provide reporting and payment facilitation.”

Clear standards

Mr. Greenwood and other proponents of carbon-offset programs believe the development of clear standards and record-keeping will turn green travel skeptics into supporters.

Deborah Carlson, a climate change campaigner with the David Suzuki Foundation, suggests that when individuals are looking for a green travel program, they choose one that meets the criteria of a reputable standard.

The Suzuki foundation recommends the Gold Standard, she says, “an international standard developed by the World Wildlife Fund and … endorsed by many leading organizations and businesses worldwide, including the UN.”

She says offsets registered to the Gold Standard have been verified by auditors to meet stringent environmental criteria. Those offsets registered to the Gold Standard “have the extra benefit of promoting sustainable development in the communities where they are located,” she adds.

Although MKI works with the Green Belt Movement, Mr. Greenwood said his company's customers are free to choose other environmentally friendly programs. “We encourage all of our clients to research the variety of programs and choose one that they feel will have the most impact.”

Eugene Peters is director of Toronto-based Green My Flight Inc., which offers green travel for airline passengers through its website (greenmyflight.com). He has found that people are looking for ways to minimize their overall environmental footprint, including their travel choices.

“We recommend that clients address their environmental impact first and foremost through conservation efforts,” he said in an e-mail exchange. “That means reducing energy usage, minimizing waste, recycling and so forth.”

He says green travel programs are attractive because passengers want to mitigate the impact of “unavoidable emissions such as those associated with essential air travel.”

Still, many observers have reservations about the whole issue of carbon offsetting. A February 2007 report entitled The Carbon Neutral Myth, from the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute, for example, argues that carbon offsets simply “dilute the more radical action necessary to address the climate crisis,” partly by diverting energy from addressing the very economic structure that created climate change in the first place.

The report also criticizes offsets for amounting to “carbon colonialism” whereby consumers in the privileged Northern Hemisphere impose the consequences of their carbon emissions on developing nations in the guise of “assistance.”

“If you emit carbon today and plant a tree,” the report notes, “it will take a tree a 100 years to absorb the carbon emissions … in the meantime the ice caps are melting.”
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Old November 15th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #51
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EU says airports should use slots more efficiently

BRUSSELS, Nov 15 (Reuters) - European Union airports should make more efficient use of take-off and landing slots for airlines and make it easier for new carriers to get space at congested terminals, the European Commission said on Thursday.

Airports have become better at managing tight capacity but "there is still some room for improvement, especially where it concerns market access and efficient use of slots", the EU executive said in a statement.

Slots are essentially rights that carriers have to take off or land at specific times.

The Commission cited concerns about the neutrality and independence of coordinators who determine which airlines get which slots at which times and said an EU regulation on the matter had failed to spur competition.

"The provisions that aim to encourage new entrants to get a foothold at congested airports seem to have had only a limited effect on competition and on the best use of scarce capacity," it said.

It said it would study potential improvements in the rules. "A more structured approach under the regulation to market-based slot allocation could contribute to tackling the scarcity problem," it said.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 03:26 AM   #52
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Finnair sees risk of trade war in airline CO2 trading

HELSINKI, Nov 14 (Reuters) - The plan to include European Union air traffic in the bloc's emission trading system could trigger a trade war as countries outside the EU would not want to join it in its current form, Finnair said.

The European Parliament voted on Tuesday to set a tighter limit on aviation's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than first proposed by the European Commission.

Tuesday's vote was the first reading on the bill that has drawn ire from the United States and other nations.

"The worst part is that this will be difficult to sell to countries outside the EU. They will see it is senseless in many ways. There are all the ingredients for a trade war," Finnair Chief Executive Jukka Hienonen told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference.

"We can start this in Europe but the system needs to be such that we can sell it to others as well," Hienonen said, adding that EU airlines only represented half a percent of all CO2 emissions.

The plan must now go to EU governments for potential changes. It must be approved by parliament and EU ministers before it can become law.

The proposal has changed considerably in the past two weeks, Hienonen said, and added he thinks it might change further. He added Finnair does not know the cost of the proposed regulation.

"It is very difficult to say what the price tag for this will be. Some say emission rights in the coming years could cost 3 euros per tonne but others say it could be 50 euros per tonne," Hienonen said. (Reporting by Sami Torma; editing by James Jukwey)
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Old November 16th, 2007, 10:21 AM   #53
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EU to simplify flight reservations, sees price cuts

BRUSSELS, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The European Commission plans to simplify computerised reservation systems (CRSs) for airline tickets, saying it would boost competition and lower prices, despite doubts among some industry groups.

Under the EU executive's proposal on Thursday for a revised code of conduct in the sector, CRSs and airlines will be free to negotiate the booking fees charged by the reservation systems and the information content provided by the airlines.

The plan, which will now be scrutinised by the European Parliament and EU transport ministers, would thus introduce pricing freedom, the Commission said.

"More competition in this market means lower distribution costs and airlines offering more travel options via the CRSs," EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said in a statement.

"Consumers who use the services of a travel agent for their airline bookings will enjoy an increased offer while still being protected against any abuse or discrimination," he added.

He said the new rules, which mark the first revision in 20 years, would ensure all booking channels competed on a level playing field.

CRSs provide subscribers with up-to-date information about flight availabilities and fares. They allow travel agents to find flights, compare prices and make immediate confirmed reservations on behalf of their customers. But some industry groups denounced the scheme, saying it would strengthen the grip over the market by Europe's largest reservation system Amadeus, in which German air carrier Lufthansa, Franco-Dutch Air France-KLM and Spain's Iberia hold a 46 percent stake.

"The Commission's proposal gives Amadeus and its owners a license to engage in abuse," said Brandon Mitchener, director of the Coalition for Fair Access to Reservations in Europe.

He said Amadeus would be free to provide Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and Iberia superior fare loading processes and privileged access to technology for the display and sale of their transportation at the expense of consumer choice.

This is because the new rules do not define clearly the obligations of a "parent carrier" in the reservations systems, he said.

Another group, Business Travel Coalition, said it was surprised the Commission was making a proposal it branded flawed while fighting to improve the quality of information on Web sites selling airline tickets. (Reporting by Marcin Grajewski, editing by Dale Hudson)
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Old December 1st, 2007, 05:10 AM   #54
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EU agrees rules to clear up airline ticket prices

BRUSSELS, Nov 30, 2007 (AFP) - The European Union agreed Friday new measures to make airline ticket costs more transparent by obliging companies to included all taxes and charges in the headline price first shown to consumers.

The measures, agreed Friday by the EU's 27 member states in concert with the European Parliament, are based on the principle that the price the traveller sees should be the real cost of the ticket.

They are aimed at better informing potential passengers and allowing them to compare prices, as in future all the taxes, fees, surcharges and other fees will be figured in.

"From now on, passengers will enjoy the benefits of the single market and will receive complete information on the exact ticket prices, without any discrimination," said EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot.

Europe's aviation sector has expanded markedly over the last decade, bringing down prices as more and more people travel by air.

The European Commission says the number of routes has increased by more than 60 percent over that time.

Before the new measures can take effect, they must be rubber-stamped by the European Parliament, which is considered to be a formality.
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Old December 13th, 2007, 05:19 AM   #55
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European Airlines Deal With Lost Luggage

Europe's airlines slammed over lost luggage

BRUSSELS, Dec 6 (Reuters) - European airlines should face stiffer penalties for losing luggage after complaints against carriers almost doubled, Europe's consumer watchdog said on Thursday.

"Lost luggage" topped the list of complaints against airlines in a report compiled by the European Consumer Centre (ECC) -- which covers the European Union, Iceland and Norway -- with Irish carriers Ryanair and Aer Lingus the biggest offenders.

"The total of complaints made rose to 2,979 in 2006 from 1,521 a year earlier," the report said, adding that problems with luggage accounted for 33 percent of claims, while 26 percent of complaints concerned cancellations and 16 percent were due to delays.

In its report, the ECC recommends greater penalties for lost luggage and for an automatic mandatory payment for passengers to purchase emergency items when their luggage is lost. It said it had yet to determine how much this payment should be.

"Most of the complaints in 2006 are against the same airline companies as in 2005 ... from Ireland, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and France. It is also shown that consumers from Ireland, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Italy and Belgium make the most complaints," the report said.

"In the first six months of 2007 ... some 1,500 complaints and disputes relating to air travel have been received. This is on par with the number of complaints received in 2006 and it remains to be seen whether an increase will be recorded, once complaints received after the busy summer period have been counted."

Although the report does not specify which airlines are responsible for the complaints, 612 angry passengers complained after travelling with "Irish airlines" -- up 181 percent from 2005. Ryanair dismissed the importance of the report.

"The ECC received just over 400 complaints about Ryanair which equates to just 8 letters for every 1 million passengers carried by Ryanair. This is less than 10 complaints a week," it said in a statement.

But ECC said the complaints received represent the tip of the iceberg.

"The analysis of complaints received by ECC-Net relating to air travel should, therefore, be read within a wider context," it said in a statement.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #56
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Budget airlines find new ways to bump up prices

LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Travellers flying with budget airlines are still paying more than the advertised price of the ticket, according to a report by consumer group Which?

Despite legal measures forcing airlines to include compulsory taxes and charges in their headline prices, budget airlines are devising new ways in which to levy extra charges -- sometimes up to 28 pounds more than the advertised cost of a return flight.

Which? found Ryanair to be the worst offender, charging passengers up to 20 pounds at the airport to check a bag into the hold and four pounds to use the check-in desk.

Monarch Airlines and bmibaby were also found to charge up to 20 pounds for checking a bag into the hold, while Flybe charges up to 18 pounds and Easyjet up to 10 pounds.

Easyjet charges 15 pounds for its "speedy boarding" service, while Ryanair levies a four pound fee.

These charges comes on top of credit card fees airlines charge at the time of booking, ranging from 3.50 to 4.90 pounds.

Lorna Cowan, editor of Holiday Which? magazine, said: "We're disappointed to see the major budget airlines are introducing charges for services that were once included in the full cost of the ticket.

"(We) would like to see airlines put a halt to these extra charges -- who knows what they'll be charging us for next."
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Old January 18th, 2008, 12:33 AM   #57
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European airports in 2007

Let's complete this list for top European airports in 2007:

1) LHR 67,855,100 +0.8%
2) CDG 59,922,177 + 5,4 %
3) FRA 54,167,817 +2.5%
4) MAD 52,143,275 +13.8%
5) AMS 47,800,000 +3.7%
6) LGW 35,168,300 +3.2%
7) MUC 32,948,000
8) FCO 32,947,304 +9.14%
9) BCN 32,800,570 +9,30%
10) ORY 26,440,736 + 3,2 %
11) MXP 23.850.000 +9,7%
12) STN 23.759.000 + 0.3%
13) PMI 23.227.983 +3.7%
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川添 Kawazoe (riverside) 海斗 Kaito (big dipper of the ocean), in Japanese.
Yo si la ciudad no tiene metro, como que no es gran ciudad y entonces ya paso de vivir allí. Norreport+12000
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Old January 19th, 2008, 02:18 PM   #58
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ATHENS, GR ATH 16.6 mil
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Old January 21st, 2008, 04:47 AM   #59
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gosh...FCO and MUC almost the same pax number
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Old January 21st, 2008, 02:59 PM   #60
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1) LHR 67,855,100 +0.8%
2) CDG 59,922,177 + 5,4 %
3) FRA 54,167,817 +2.5%
4) MAD 52,143,275 +13.8%
5) AMS 47,800,000 +3.7%
6) LGW 35,168,300 +3.2%
7) MUC 32,948,000
8) FCO 32,947,304 +9.14%
9) BCN 32,800,570 +9,30%
10) ORY 26,440,736 + 3,2 %
11) MXP 23.850.000 +9,7%
12) STN 23.759.000 + 0.3%
13) PMI 23.227.983 +3.7%
14) ZRH 20.739.113 +7,8%
15) VIE 18.768.468 +11,30%
16) BRU 17.876.000 + 7%
17) DUS 17.8 +7,5%
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