Starting in mid-January 2012, Ryanair will introduce a levy of 25 Euro cents on every seat to cover costs for carbon permits it needs under a new European Union emissions trading scheme.
Europe’s largest budget airline followed US Delta Air Lines and Lufthansa, Germany’s biggest carrier, in passing costs onto customers.
“We do not agree with it and we do not believe there will be any environmental benefit,” a Ryanair spokesman told Reuters.
Under plans to tackle climate change, airlines touching down or taking off in the 27-nation European Union and three neighbouring nations must account for their CO2 emissions as part of an expansion of the world’s largest carbon market.
Airlines and their associations have balked at the scheme and even challenged it in court, saying it further burdened an industry saddled with soaring fuel prices, fierce competition and national taxes.
Global airlines group IATA has estimated the annual industry-wide cost of the ETS will rise to 2.8 billion Euros by 2020, up from the 900 million Euros cost expected in 2012.
Europe’s highest court last month backed the scheme, meaning all airlines will have to pay for emissions permits, drawing anger from the United States and China.