Only a quarter of European airlines have made any serious attempt to assess how the European Union emissions trading scheme will affect business costs, according to a survey by consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The report, Ready for take-off? surveyed 20 carriers earlier this year, half of which were passenger airlines, including business jet operators. Around another quarter were low-cost carriers, with the remaining quarter freight specialists.

While all expect that aviation's inclusion within the scheme will affect costs, only two-thirds said it had yet to be factored into strategic planning, with only around 40% now monitoring and reporting emissions data.

None were confident, however, that the IT systems needed to collate the required data for the allocation process and to support the full implementation of the scheme were ready for emissions trading.

Klaus-Dieter Ruske, PwC global transport and logistics leader, says: "Carbon thinking requires an integrated approach across the organisation that will affect investment planning, merger and acquisition strategy and tax and accounting matters.

"Many industry players are waiting for the legislative process to produce binding rules, but experience shows that early preparation pays off."