For now, it will cost an additional $6 per roundtrip ticket on Delta Airlines for travelers going between the US and Europe.
The carrier rolled out the surcharge on January 2 and it applies to tickets purchased in the US, a spokesman told OPIS via e-mail.
The surcharge was rolled out just as US carriers, as well as the entire commercial aviation industry, had to start complying with carbon reduction regulations in Europe. Those regulations took effect on January 1. The airline declined to comment specifically on the reason for the fee.
Airlines for America, an industry trade group, sued the European Union, asking to be exempt from the carbon reduction plan, saying the scheme was in violation of international law. The European Court of Justice ruled in late December that all airlines serving Europe are required to participate in carbon reduction efforts. Airlines for America, in a statement said it was reviewing its options following the court’s ruling. That indicates it could be considering another appeal or lawsuit.
In 2011, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it illegal for US airlines to comply with the EU regulations. But, the Senate never passed a companion measure.
Under the EU carbon reduction plan, airlines must account for carbon emissions for flights taking off and landing in Europe. The measurement of carbon emissions begins at the point where the aircraft pushes away from the gate, regardless of whether that is in Europe or not. And the measurement ends when the plane arrives at its new gate, regardless of whether that is in Europe or not.
On Wednesday, December 2012 EUA carbon credits settled at $6.57 and December 2012 CER credits ended at $3.83.
The price for clean jet fuel, as assessed by OPIS, stood at $1,039.51/mt for Rotterdam barge fuel. Meanwhile, U.S. jet fuel was running over $3.05/gal.