The Irish Independent has reported that Irish airlines
have reacted angrily to a new green tax that will add an estimated
€56 to the cost of a family holiday.
Aer Lingus has written to MEPs and TDs to complain that the
environmental levy will be 'potentially disastrous'
for the Irish public. Ryanair has also dismissed the new environmental
levy that the European Commission is set to rubberstamp this
week as a 'scam'.
The proposed new charges on airlines are expected to add
an extra €14.50 to the cost of a return flight. They are designed
to cut the airlines' greenhouse gas emissions. MEPS will debate
the new plan, known as the emissions trading scheme, this
week. The scheme will hit all airlines to and from EU airports
when it becomes law.
In a letter to Irish politicians and the Oireachtas Committee
on Transport, Aer Lingus CEO Dermot Mannion claimed the new
scheme is "ill -timed" and "ill-conceived" and ignored the
fact that Irish passengers, as an island-based community,
are dependent on air transport.
He said the "one-sided" scheme is not matched by the US and
would, therefore, put European airlines at a disadvantage.
"There will be no alternative but to recharge the costs to
passengers with no obvious benefit to the environment" - he
said. "For Aer Lingus, we estimated the net cost will be €39m
in 2012 and this could jump to over €205m in the period 2013
"At a time of unprecedented oil prices and a very uncertain
outlook for the aviation industry, it is incomprehensible
that such costs could be imposed" - he added.
Ryanair said it was opposed to any environmental tax 'because
it does nothing for the environment'. "It's just a scam
by the EU to steal more money from our passengers" - said
a company spokesperson.
Senior aviation executives recently warned that the rising
cost of oil was already threatening the future of low-cost
air travel. They said that firms could go bust if the new
plan is allowed to further push-up costs.
A compromise was reached between EU governments on the new
plan last month. The European Parliament is set to ratify
the scheme on Wednesday. Airlines will then be forced to pay
for the greenhouse gases they emit via a complex licensing
system known as 'carbon permits''.
Every airline will be allocated a ceiling - based on their
emissions between 2004 and 2006. In 2012, the cap will be
97pc of this level - falling to 95pc cent the following year.
Carriers wanting to go above their permitted threshold will
have to buy carbon credits to do so.
Even those who stay below their agreed ceiling will have
to buy permits for 15pc of the carbon output, with the money
going to national governments. It is estimated that this would
cost the aviation industry €3.5bn a year - €7 per ticket or,
roughly, €14.50 for a return flight.
Source - The Irish Independent