The European Union will not loosen sustainability targets for the aviation industry despite the Ukraine conflict and a surge in fuel prices, according to EU Commission director general for Mobility and Transport Henrik Hololei.
“Although there are new challenges, the old challenges do not go away, and making aviation sustainable is a challenge,” he said.
He added that it was not the moment to “make concessions on sustainability,” speaking at a Eurocontrol webinar.
Hololei was responding to a plea from the chief executive of Polish carrier LOT, Rafal Milczarski, who had urged the EU to consider the massive increase in kerosene prices, the negative impact of the war on passengers’ willingness to travel and the side effects of sanctions on Russia.
The industry’s participation in carbon emissions trading, which airlines use to pay for part of their greenhouse gas emissions, must be reconsidered or at least temporarily suspended, Milczarski said.
“EU ‘Fitfor55’ (strategy) needs to be fundamentally reviewed… it is extremely idealistic and I aim afraid it is going to kill a number of airlines,” the LOT CEO said.
Speaking about LOT’s its own business, Milczarski said that with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine the Polish carrier had been forced to cancel many flights and experienced a drop in bookings.
“We are not expecting a great summer at all,” he said.
The EU will also stick to increasing from 50% to 64% in April the proportion of landing and take-off slots that airlines need to use to maintain them.