LONDON – Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has called on the European Commission to stop exempting the European Union’s most polluting flights.
This situation is more over the ETS (environment taxes) onto long-haul flights, which account for over 54% of EU aviation emissions but deliver just 6% of EU passengers.
As a result of what Ryanair calls “this indefensible exemption for the richest passengers flying to/from the EU, it is Europe’s short-haul passengers who will continue to pay an unfair burden of 100% ETS while generating less than half of EU aviation emissions.”
O’Leary: von der Leyen Has Abandoned The Environment…
O’Leary added to the quote above, stating that EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen has abandoned the “environment and Europe’s ordinary families”.
The Commission’s failure to support the Parliament vote means that Europe’s most polluting flights (long-haul and transfer passengers), which create the majority of EU aviation emissions, will continue to be exempt from paying their fair share of ETS taxes”
“While the richest Americans, Europeans, and Asians on long-haul flights pay zero enviro taxes, Europe’s most price-sensitive passengers and their families traveling on short-haul flights, many to the peripheral Member States such as Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Malta, and Cyprus, and who have NO ALTERNATIVE to flying, are forced to pay all of Europe’s ETS taxes, while they generate less than half of EU aviation emissions.”
“This is clearly unfair.”
“Yet again, Ursula von der Leyen and the EU Commission have let down Europe’s citizens and Europe’s environment”.
France Bans Short-Haul Domestic Flights…
In recent weeks, France has taken the decision to ban short-haul domestic flights and is encouraging people to travel by rail instead, as it’s environmentally more sustainable.
This will no doubt be unwelcome by O’Leary, especially if he had plans to launch his own domestic routes within France, having multiple bases in the region.
It’s going to be interesting to see how that one pans out, especially forcing carriers such as Air France into signing interlining agreements with rail companies like SNCF.
More analysis on this particular topic will follow on AviationSource over the next couple of days.
O’Leary Continues To Be Consistent…
O’Leary continues to be consistent in his attacks against multiple governments and government bodies, especially when it comes to sustainability.
The Ryanair CEO also fights this fight with the UK government when it comes to Air Passenger Duty Tax, which O’Leary is calling for to be scrapped.
However, such taxes like APD and ETS may not disappear anytime soon, especially as governments are trying to receive as much income into their budgets as possible in the wake of a global recession.
It does appear that based on the current conditions of the economy and other areas of the aviation industry, this will be a fight that will carry on for some time, especially with the aviation industry wanting to be Net-Zero by 2050.
Either way, all eyes are on the respective governments to ensure that environmental sustainability is done in the right way and doesn’t damage the sector as a result.