Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) not only has many international airlines and governments concerned, but now even at least one of the world’s two biggest OEMs has joined the chorus of protest after China blocked a sale of Airbus A380s to Hong Kong Airlines.
In a joint letter from Airbus, MTU Aero Engines and Safran joined Air Berlin, Air France, British Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic to call upon the UK, France, Germany and Spain “to take action” to stop the escalating trade conflict.
In their letter, sent to prime ministers David Cameron of the UK, Francois Fillon of France, Angela Merkel of Germany, and Mariano Rajoy of Spain, the eight CEOs stressed their concern about countermeasures and restrictions on European airlines and even manufacturers imposed on them by countries opposed to ETS.
The letter alluded to the likely imposition of special taxes and traffic rights limitations and, in particular, China’s recent industrial action against Airbus.
“In China, approval for $12 billion worth of Airbus orders has been suspended,” said Airbus in a statement. “Airbus estimates that this will jeopardize more than 1,000 Airbus jobs in Europe and at least another 1,000 in the supply chain.”
“The nine CEOs fully expect the list of suspensions, cancellations and punitive actions to grow as other important markets continue to oppose ETS,” said the statement. “They see the situation as becoming intolerable for the European aviation industry.”
In the letter, the CEOs pleaded for immediate consultations at the level of the EU Council and with the states taking retaliatory trade action. “The aim must be to find a compromise solution and to have these punitive trade measures stopped before it is too late,” the companies said.
The letter stressed that the industry remains a supporter of global emissions trading schemes applied to aviation. “We have always believed that only a global solution would be adequate to resolve the problem of global aviation emissions,” said the CEOs in their letter. “This solution can be found only 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.”
In closing, the CEOs urged the prime ministers to use their influence in the ICAO Council to “find an acceptable solution within as short a time frame as possible.”