CEOs from Airbus, Air Berlin, Air France, British Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa, MTU Aero Engines, Safran and Virgin Atlantic have spoken out about the contentious European Union emissions trading scheme, imploring French, German and UK prime ministers to put an end to the trade conflict with China and other nations. The nine CEOs expressed their concern about the EU ETS and its unintended consequences in joint letters.
China has already taken retaliatory action against Airbus by suspending a $12 billion deal. This staggering loss will “jeopardize more than 1,000 Airbus jobs in Europe and at least another 1,000 in the supply chain,” according to a press release.
The nine CEOs believe more cancellations could occur as other nations show their opposition to the EU ETS. Such actions could also further cripple the eurozone’s weakened economy, they explained in their letters to the European leaders. “[It’s] a situation that Europe can ill-afford in the current economic climate,” they wrote.
Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of the International Air Transportation Association, expressed similar concern in February. In an address to the European Aviation Club, Tyler said that Europe could see some pushback from carriers, which, since January, have been subjected to additional fuel surcharges when flying into European airspace.
“Airlines from Europe may face some retaliatory action,” Tyler said. “And some non-European airlines may have to choose whether to obey the law of their land or that of Europe — two more unintended consequences, which should convince all states that [a global approach to sustainability developed though the International Civil Aviation Organization] is the way forward.”
CEOs from Airbus, Air Berlin, Air France, British Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa, MTU Aero Engines, Safran and Virgin Atlantic seem to agree. “We have always believed that only a global solution would be adequate to resolve the problem of global aviation emissions,” they wrote.
“This solution can only be found in ICAO, which has recently appointed a high-level dedicated group to propose a global framework for international aviation emissions by the end of this year,” the CEOs continued. “The aim must be to find a compromise solution and to have these punitive trade measures stopped before it is too late.”