Lufthansa chief takes EU to task

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The head of German national carrier Lufthansa has attacked the European Union over an aviation policy he describes as "lunacy"

Berlin  -- The Chairman of the Eexecutive Board of Lufthansa, Wolfgang Mayrhuber, has criticized European Union plans to extend the carbon-trading scheme to the airline industry, saying the move would lead to a dramatic increase in ticket prices, according to a report in Thursday's German daily Bild.

"What Brussels is planning is lunacy," he was quoted as saying.

"The politicians are creating new burdens for the travelling public without helping to protect the climate. Where they could do something to ease the burden, nothing is happening," he said.

Mayrhuber was critical of the fact that the EU has not yet agreed on a Europe-wide flight security agency. There are some 50 authorities overseeing Europe's air space, he said.

"Today we have to fly meaningless detours and burn up kerosene needlessly. If (the authorities) were finally dismantled, then the airlines would need much less kerosene.

"That's how we could protect the environment and save the costs of carbon-trading," he said.

EU aviation policy is mixed, encouraging open competition by airlines and the duplication of routes but simultaneously pressuring airlines to be environmentally conscious. It also encourages alternatives to domestic flights such as high speed rail.DPA

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