BA chief questions carbon scheme baseline

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The planned use of 2010 as a benchmark for the European Union's emissions trading scheme would "penalise Northern European operators unfairly", British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh has warned.

In an address to the European Aviation Club in Brussels, Walsh argued that such a benchmark would be unfair because northern European carriers suffered far more disruption than their southern counterparts from the volcano-related airspace closures in April.

British Airways flew 20 per cent fewer kilometres that month than in April 2009, Walsh estimated.

The BA chief is calling for "a compensating adjustment" to the scheme, which is due to be implemented in 2012.

The 2010 baseline represents "a clear financial injustice which was not intended by the designers of the benchmarking system", he believes.