Singapore Airlines has become the latest carrier to criticise the EU's emissions trading scheme.

ETS will include air transport within its scope from 1 January 2012 and is facing mounting opposition from the aviation sector in the USA, China and Russia.

Speaking at SIA's annual parliamentary reception at Westminster, Phee Teik Yeoh, the airline's UK general manager, said the best way of tackling emissions from aviation was a scheme that incentivised airlines to "purchase the best aircraft, and develop greener solutions and practices".

However, ETS is not the answer. He said: "We do not believe that the EU's emissions trading the best way to incentivise improvements.

"It is impractical for some economic zones to have an emissions trading scheme for aviation and others not to."

Yeoh called for a global solution to be agreed through ICAO.

He also pressed the UK government to abolish the Air Passenger Duty when ETS comes into effect so that "passengers flying to and from the UK are not taxed twice and that Heathrow's hub status is not damaged in comparison with European competitors".

Holland and Germany have lower or non-existent aviation taxes, he noted.

Capacity issues at Heathrow also pose a threat to the airport's importance, he said, and warned the government that its "hub status should not be taken for granted".

Speaking in response, UK government transport spokesman Earl Attlee said although it remained committed to working through ICAO to develop a "global, market-based measure" to deal with airline emissions the government was "fully supportive of regional, market-based measures like ETS".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news