This is starting to get fatiguing. First it was the announcement of the foolish Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) which is a very transparent attempt to raise cash for general obligations (read as bailing out the underperformers of the European Union) and the Scheme itself has little (or NO) accountability to actually improve airline emissions in the EU. Basically airlines are being surcharged for exceeding their allotted Emission Credits as allocated by the brain trust of the EU. The EU thinks that every airline in the world will comply. Think again……
Forced into being bedfellows, Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways (among others) and Airbus banded together and asked the EU to reconsider the punitive measures because of the fear of reprisals…..so far this call has fallen on deaf ears in Brussels.
Next, China started tapping on its brakes, and has slowed (read halted) their national carriers from pursuing ordering aircraft from Airbus (Interpret this as the loss of billions of euro in revenue and potential thousands of jobs lost). You can’t really blame China at all.
Then, China expands their theater of operation in the battle against the EU and tells Lufthansa that they can not operate their A380’s on a Frankfurt-Shanghai route. Here I do fault the Chinese, since you attacked an innocent bystander who is siding with you in this brewing conflict.
NOW,Russia joins the bandwagon and has delayed approving the rights for Lufthansa to operate cargo flights out of Russia (through Aerologic). Lufthansa has asked for the approval of 30 routes, and only 11 were granted. Russia did not try to veil this action. This is their reprisal to the EU’s foolishness.
The problem here is that the nations who are not going to comply (and who can blame them) with the ETS are lashing out on the wrong parties. Lufthansa has unfairly become the scapegoat and somehow has been mis-identified as being responsible for the EU’s actions. Lufthansa has been very vocal in it’s opposition the ETS and is aggressively pursuing resolution. It makes no sense to me why countries would punish an airline in the way Lufthansa has been punished recently. If I’m China or Russia, I can think of better ways to send my message. If I’m Russia, I think it’s time for a re-think on natural gas rates. If I’m China, I consider stopping my capital investments into European entities and infrastructure. Then perhaps the EU will finally begin to realize that they are not in a position to be the Bully in the neighborhood. Rant over. 🙂