Etihad Airways is to increase the fuel surcharge on its European flights to offset the costs of the European Union (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Each passenger will have to pay an additional US$3 for flights into and out of Europe from March 1, 2012. Cargo shipments will also be charged an extra $0.03 per kilogram.
The EU ETS has been in place since the start of the year and imposes a limit on carbon dioxide emissions for flights operating to and from EU airports. Airlines are allowed a certain amount of tax-free emissions each year, but must buy ‘carbon credits’ from other parties if they exceed their allowance.
Etihad, the national carrier of the UAE, has based the charges on the cost of carbon credits it calculates it will need to purchase for 2012. A statement from the airline warned that costs may need to be adjusted “from time to time.”
Etihad’s President and CEO James Hogan, commented: “We are strongly opposed to the unilateral measures imposed by the European Union on our flights into and out of Europe, especially as they include areas outside European airspace.
“We have invested many millions of dollars to ensure we operate a young and highly efficient fleet, but are still being penalised.”