[mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]Airlines wrong to blame oil price rise
From Mr Jos Dings.Sir, Your report “Oil price rise adds to airlines’ woes as lossescontinue” (December 15) plays into the hands of the global aviation industry.Thanks to a continued stream of apocalyptic warnings from the International Air Transport Association, it now seems to be received wisdom that the global airline industry’s inability to make a profit as a whole is linked directly to oil prices. In June, Giovanni Bisignani,the IATA director-general, actually referred to rising oil prices as the industry’s “fifth horseman of the apocalypse”.Your report, and the FT is not alone, fails to question this rhetoric.Investors (as well as governments who subsidise the industry directly and indirectly) should be more worried that many airlines have failed to introduce mechanisms in their business models to adjust to a basic variable cost.As in all industries, some companies are making profits – and others are not. Those that fail should not be kept on government life support -they should be allowed to die peacefully.There is an irony here. The airline industry has so far resisted any measures to curb its environmental impact. Perhaps if it had, for example, invested in greater fuel efficiency and stopped operating empty flights to protect precious slots, it would be more immune to oil price fluctuations.As it is, every time policymakers put environmental measures forward, the industry cries foul. Perhaps it is now time to play ball.
Jos Dings, Director T&E (European Federation for Transport and Environment)