The civil aviation ministry has decided to summon country heads of all European carriers flying to India over a controversial European Union (EU) tax that would be imposed on Indian carriers from January 1.
It is feared that the EU-emissions trading system (ETS), which could cost domestic carriers billions of dollars in EU airspace emissions fees, would lead to an increase in global airfares to or via EU nations by as much as $50-250 (Rs 2,600-13,300).
"We have decided to talk directly to the airlines," a senior aviation ministry official said. "If they tax our carriers, we will impose a similar tax on all EU carriers operating to and from India. As airlines would be the end sufferers, they should know the consequences of the EU’s action."
“We hope better sense prevails and the EU withdraws the tax. The EU should work with the global community in developing a global approach for tackling emissions in the airline industry,” he said.
The EU plans to tax airlines on the basis of carbon emissions. Local carriers, which fly to Europe, would need to pay taxes for landing in and taking off from European airports based on the type of aircraft. Under the ETS, airlines using EU’s airspace will have to pay a fee for carbon emissions that exceed a set cap.
India has termed the tax an “extraterritorial imposition” of the EU’s policies on other countries and has vowed to fight it.