Ryanair adds 25p green tax levy to fares

No-frills airline Ryanair is to add 25p to all bookings from next week to cover the cost of the European emissions trading system (ETS) green tax scheme.

Ryanair, which will bring in the levy from 17 January, described the ETS as an "eco-looney tax". It said the ETS would cost Ryanair passengers between €15m and €20m during 2012.

The levy will apply per passenger, per one-way flight.

Ryanair's Stephen McNamara said: "Ryanair does not believe that European aviation should be included in the ETS scheme since it accounts for less than 2% of the EU's carbon dioxide emissions.

"This latest EU stealth tax will damage traffic, tourism, European competitiveness and jobs at a time when no other economic block is including aviation in their ETS schemes.

"This new ETS tax is the latest in a long line of cost increases imposed on Europe's air passengers by the European Union, which reduces the competitiveness of EU air transport with yet another misguided environmental tax which does nothing for the environment but penalises EU consumers and families."

Meanwhile, Malaysian low-fare airline AirAsia X is to stop its Gatwick to Kuala Lumpur flights from the end of March.

The carrier started flights to and from the UK in 2009, first from Stansted and switching to Gatwick last year.

AirAsia X currently operates six flights a week between the UK and Malaysia. It is scrapping all its European and Indian flights this year, and the UK move is part of that.

The carrier blamed the ETS scheme, the UK's air passenger duty departure tax and high oil prices for its decision.

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