Lufthansa's CEO is the latest industry leader to call on the European Union to suspend the inclusion of aviation in its controversial Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) - despite the EU's insistence that this is not a legal possibility.
Talking to the media as Lufthansa released its annual report for 2011, Christoph Franz said any system for regulating aviation carbon emissions "must be introduced worldwide" rather than at a national or regional level. Otherwise it would distort competition for European carriers and put them at risk of retaliatory action from nations opposed to the scheme, he said.
Franz was one of nine chief executives, including the CEO of Airbus, to write joint letters to European leaders earlier this week asking them to step in and stop the escalating trade conflict, after Airbus warned that the unilateral European position was already threatening deliveries of its long-haul aircraft to China.
Franz said this kind of punitive action against European businesses was "exactly what we had feared". He added that, in the face of paying EU ETS charges, German carriers should no longer be required to pay air passenger taxes.
Flightglobal Pro subscribers can read an analysis of Airbus's perceived isolation from China due to the EU ETS here
Photo by Action Press/Rex Features