10 Jul 2008

Carbon charges likely to raise airfares

6:33 pm on 10 July 2008

Travellers can expect to pay more for flights to Europe when airlines start paying new carbon charges for flying in the continent's skies.

A proposal to include airlines in Europe's emissions trading scheme has passed another hurdle, with the European Parliament agreeing airlines will be part of the system regardless of which country they are based in.

The changes, due to take effect in four years time, are designed to reduce emissions from international air travel.

Air New Zealand is assessing how it will be affected by the planned new emissions charges for all airlines that enter European skies.

PricewaterhouseCoopers climate change leader Julia Hoare says airlines will pass on the carbon costs to passengers, and estimates it will add about €9 to the cost of a flight by 2020.

Within New Zealand, the government's proposed emissions trading scheme does not protect domestic travellers from carbon costs, which Julia Hoare says are expected to add a few dollars onto the cost of a flight.