Airbus confirmed (12-Mar-2012) it joined the CEOs of Air Berlin, Air France, British Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa, MTU Aero Engines, Safran and Virgin Atlantic in sending joint letters calling upon Prime Ministers David Cameron (UK), Francois Fillon (France), Angela Merkel (Germany) and Mariano Rajoy (Spain) to take action and stop an "escalating trade conflict with China and other countries" opposing the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). In their letters, the nine CEOs confirm that as a response to European ETS, aviation related businesses are now faced with "real concrete action with serious consequences on the European aviation business". In many of the countries opposed to the ETS, countermeasures and restrictions on European airlines are in preparation, such as special taxes and even traffic rights limitations. Airbus stated in China, approval for USD12 billion worth of Airbus orders has been suspended. The CEOs fully expect the list of suspensions, cancellations and punitive actions to grow as other important markets continue to oppose the scheme. They see the situation becoming "intolerable" for the European aviation industry. The CEOs therefore urgently requested consultations at the level of the EU Council and, most importantly, with the States taking this retaliatory trade action, to find a compromise solution and to have punitive trade measures stopped "before it is too late". [more - original PR]
Airbus details opposition to trade conflict over EU ETS
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The EU now has mandates to negotiate open skies with states, including the UAE, Qatar, Turkey and the ASEAN bloc. The UAE and Qatar, home to the three Gulf network airlines, are expected to produce the most contentious negotiations. France and Germany will surely takes cues from Air France and Lufthansa to impede Gulf growth. In this light there are questions about whether the talks are genuinely motivated, or merely designed to draw out the discussion and thereby not produce any additional traffic rights while under negotiation.
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