The Chinese airline company Air China said Thursday it had not canceled the Airbus order and it planned to increase capacity, despite the argument that Beijing opposes the European Union on the carbon tax scheme introduced in Europe on the airline industry.
In retaliation against this new tax imposed on flights to or from Europe for the emissions of greenhouse gases, China has so far blocked the purchase of 55 Airbus aircraft including 45 A330 long-haul and 10 of A380s, orders totaling $ 14 billion.
Current orders of Air China Airbus deal include 51 jests – 30 of A320/310 and 21 of A330, the delivery is spread through 2014.
“The position of our central government is consistent, it strongly opposes the unilateral decision of the EU to impose a carbon tax. The attitude of Air China is the same as that of our government,” said the president of the airline, Wang Changshun.
Asked about possible cancellations by Air China orders placed with Airbus, however, he responded: “So far I have not received any official information.”
Air China said it fully intended to receive the orders of 35 new aircrafts this year, including 14 Airbus A320/A310 and 6 of A330.
The company has however expressed a desire of bilateral negotiations between the EU and China to resolve the dispute over the carbon tax.
Air China believes that this tax would raise costs by 200-300 million yuan per year, while the cost for the entire Chinese airline industry could reach $ 100 million per year.
The company reported for 2011 a decrease of 41% of its net profit to 7.08 billion yuan, a decline attributed to the rising costs and declining traffic of International passenger freight.