India may have lifted a lightning ban on an EU charter operator, but it will soon sit down with Chinese and Russian counterparts to discuss practical retaliation over the EU’s emissions trading system – and summer landing permits for all EU airlines will be on the agenda.
A senior official in the Delhi Ministry of Civil Aviation told OPIS Europe should not be surprised by Friday’s action to refuse a landing permit to a European airline. The official said the Ministry warned airlines in November of possible action.
“We had suspended the granting of summer permits while we took a view on how best to act,” said the official. “The airline on Friday fell into the category of people who needed on ahead of time. We have resolved this situation for now, but I can’t guarantee what the situation will be in the future.”
The official said that he and his colleagues will be sitting down shortly with Russian and Chinese officials to discuss further measures: “There will be countries who are going to do something about this,” he said. “Regulation of overflights in Russia I’m sure will be affected,” he added.
If the move on summer permits were to go ahead, it would prevent all EU airlines from operating into or over Indian territory from 25 March, and would represent the first major piece of retaliation over European’s carbon cap and trade system.
On Friday, OPIS reported that a permit had been denied to a European operator, with officials locally citing the carbon trading system as the cause.
EU offices were inundated with emails from concerned European airlines, and later that day officials received a statement from the Indian government saying they had “held a review meeting and had decided to clear all pending and in-process applications on a case by case basis.”
OPIS understands that there is continuing concern in Brussels that India’s intention is to apply the same withdrawal of permits from the 25 March. European operators flying into the country would expect to receive their so-called summer permits just a few days before the 25th.