Lufthansa warns of competitive disadvantages due to EU climate laws - WELT

Dhe Lufthansa Group fears billions in costs from the EU Commission's climate protection package. According to his previous assessment, the plans could lead to significant competitive disadvantages for European network airlines, explained the head of group policy, Kay Lindemann, on Friday in Berlin. In addition, there is a risk of additional CO2 emissions if transfer flights are relocated to hubs outside of Europe.

The EU Commission will present a package of measures on Wednesday (July 14th) that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 2030 percent by 55. It is therefore called “Fit for 55”. With regard to air traffic, this could include expanded emissions trading, higher kerosene taxes for flights within Europe and a new, rapidly increasing proportion of the blending of the more expensive, sustainable aviation fuels.

Lindemann warned that the measures could result in annual costs of between one and two billion euros. On the other hand, the competition from the Arab Gulf, Turkey or Russia could easily bypass the regulations that are limited to the EU.

Turkish Airlines, for example, does not have to pay anything for a feeder flight to Istanbul to change to a long-haul destination, and neither does Emirates, for example, for a flight to Dubai. The Lufthansa but for a feeder flight from Madrid to Frankfurt. That was already the biggest annoyance for the airlines in the EU emissions trading system (ETS), in which they have been participating since 2012. International airlines were left out here. With the ETS, companies are allowed a quota of CO2 pollution rights, only part of which they have to buy. If they need less than what is available, they can earn money with the rights through sales. This should give an incentive to avoid CO2.

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Also for the planned quota for sustainable fuels Lufthansa demands that a financing mechanism must be found that includes all providers equally. For this purpose, for example, the final destination of the tickets sold could be taken into account in the tax calculation. One example is the German air traffic tax, because this applies to the final destination of the flight and thus applies to both domestic and international airlines.

"More ambition in terms of climate protection in air traffic costs, that is clear," said Lindemann. They are basically ready to go along this path, but do not want to accept any competitive disadvantages. "Our expectation is that a competition-neutral solution must be found for the high ambitions in climate protection," said Lindemann.