Major airline and airport alliance challenges EU climate legislation

Schiphol Amsterdam Airport ©AirTeamImages

An alliance of approximately 20 European airlines and airports, including all Lufthansa subsidiaries, Air France-KLM, Frankfurt and Schiphol airports, have challenged the EU’s climate change legislation that was presented last July.

The major complaint is that the overarching consequence will disadvantage European carriers and airports against their non-European rivals. However, the alliance has made it clear that it is not against the EU’s “Fit for 55” climate package which has targeted a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

While the aviation sector may be responsible for 3% of global CO2 emissions, the EU’s targeting of synthetic aviation fuel blends and a kerosene tax is causing the greatest headache. The alliance is arguing that any increase in costs would not be applicable to non-European hubs, which means that long-haul flights by European carriers from European airports would be financially disadvantaged in a highly competitive market and at a time when airports and carriers alike are struggling to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The alliance’s proposed solution would be to dismiss the kerosene tax completely and any environmental protection surcharge be based on the full flight route, rather than just feeder flights which carry passengers from the EU to international hubs such as Istanbul and Dubai.

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