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New York, Geneva (AirGuide - Regional News Europe) Feb 19, 2012

Officials from U.S., other nations opposed to EU ETS will meet Representatives from more than 25 countries opposed to the European Union's emissions-trading scheme plan to meet in Moscow next week. The countries include the U.S., Brazil, China, India and Russia. A draft agenda for the meeting says the countries will focus "on coordination of activities to oppose the inclusion of international civil aviation in the EU ETS." Feb 17, 2012

U.K. airports stop using iris scanners Several airports in the U.K. are no longer using iris scanners to screen travelers because the systems take longer than manual screening. The systems, which were introduced in 2004, have already been removed from airports in Birmingham and Manchester. Feb 17, 2012

Moscow Talks To Discuss ETS Measures A meeting in Moscow next week of nations opposed to the EU law that forces all airlines to buy carbon permits will debate a "basket of counter-measures" to the European Union scheme, a draft agenda seen by reporters on Friday showed. The agenda also refers to the formal dispute procedure under the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, although some airline representatives and analysts have said the meeting would be unlikely to decide on whether to invoke that for now. Nations, including China, the United States, India and Russia, have all expressed opposition to EU legislation requiring carriers using EU airports to acquire allowances under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). China's central government State Council, or cabinet, earlier this month said all airlines were barred from taking part - unless they received government approval to do so. The so-called "coalition of the unwilling" - bringing together 26 nations - has held a series of meetings. At its two-day Moscow gathering beginning on Tuesday, Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin is expected to open the "follow-up international conference" on coordinating activities to opposing the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS. Other agenda items refer to a letter to EU member states and "application aspects of the article 84 of the Chicago Convention", again without explanation. Article 84 covers a formal dispute procedure at the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Airline representatives and analysts have said it would be unwise to opt for the extremely lengthy formal dispute procedure before ICAO has had another chance to find a global market-based solution to airline emissions. Feb 17, 2012

Tell the airline industry what you really think says Airline Passenger Experience Association Whether you fly weekly for business or occasionally for pleasure, chances are you have stepped off a plane with a story to share about your experience. Now, instead of telling your friends, you can tell the airlines by taking the Passenger Choice Awards survey at www.passengerchoiceawards.com, and in the process help drive innovation in air travel. In its third year, the Passenger Choice Awards were launched by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) to provide airline passengers the opportunity to give direct feedback on every aspect of the flying experience: in-flight publications, connectivity and communications, food and beverage, informational videos and entertainment, cabin ambiance, and pre-departure experience. OOur industry is committed to continuous improvement to the passenger experience, and passenger feedback is critical to that commitment,O said Russell Lemieux, Executive Director of APEX. OWeOre relying on passengers to rate their experience and help identify the best innovations in air travel today.O APEX introduced a new survey format this year that allows voters to provide specific feedback in just one or two areas--such as food or movies--or in all six areas, which completes the entire survey. The survey can be accessed 24/7 all year round, so every flight experience can be tabulated, Lemieux said. Lemieux also noted that the Passenger Choice Awards are entirely independent of any commercial influence. All responses are independently tabulated by the Nielsen Company, a global leader in consumer information and measurement. Winners are announced at a gala at the APEX EXPO, held annually in the fall. This yearOs APEX EXPO will be held in Long Beach, CA, USA, 17-20 September. Among last yearOs winners were Emirates, which won Best Overall Passenger Experience for airlines with more than 50 in-flight entertainment equipped aircraft, and Virgin America, which was named Best Overall for airlines with a smaller fleet of less than 50 in-flight entertainment equipped aircraft. There were winners in more than a dozen additional categories. Linda Palmer, Senior VP, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Non-Theatrical and APEX Awards Committee chairperson, notes, OThe Passenger Choice Awards are designed not only to recognize and to reward the airlines for their continued service and innovation but to also give a voice to airline passengers. The awards program celebrates excellence in the airline passenger experience industry as judged by the people who matter most, the passengers. The Passenger Choice Awards have quickly become a significant benchmark for airlines in their continual quest to deliver a quality experience to the traveling public.O Feb 17, 2012

It's a data-driven world now, experts say Today's new tools for gathering, collecting and analyzing Big Data are causing a shift in business similar to the stir caused by the new insights the microscope provided researchers centuries ago, according to Erik Brynjolfsson, an economist at Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyOs Sloan School of Management. The technology for handling the mountain of data is evolving and the demand for specialists who can put that information to work is increasing, observers say. Feb 13, 2012

EU aviation carbon tax fuels concerns Global planemaker Airbus joined a chorus of concern that a European scheme to charge airlines for carbon emissions risks triggering a full-blown trade war, with implications for plane deals and even Europe's crippling sovereign debt crisis. The EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), introduced on January 1, has drawn howls of protest from airlines around the world, with China banning its carriers from taking part. The escalating row comes on the eve of a China-EU summit in Beijing, with the EU looking to China to dip into its huge foreign exchange reserves to help the eurozone tackle a debt build-up that threatens its economic stability. Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders said he was increasingly concerned at the potential fall-out if tensions are not defused. "I am very worried about the consequences of that. What started out as a solution for the environment has become a source of potential trade conflict and that should be a worry for all of us," he told an aviation conference on Monday ahead of the Singapore Airshow. China is a strategic market for the world's two big planemakers, as it coordinates purchases centrally and regularly places orders with Airbus and Boeing in batches of 100 or more to coincide with high-level political contacts. Chinese domestic air traffic quadrupled in the last decade and is expected to keep growing at more than 7 percent a year up to 2030, according to Airbus research, and Boeing predicts China will be the second-biggest market for new aircraft behind the United States between 2011 and 2030. China last year delayed the final signing of a deal for 10 A380 superjumbos worth $4 billion for Hong Kong Airlines in a signal of its displeasure over the EU plans, and in the mid-1990s, it refused to buy French products such as wheat and Airbus planes in retaliation for France selling fighters and frigates to Taiwan. Last week, Beijing banned its airlines from joining the ETS without its permission, and threatened to take unspecified measures to defend itself against the scheme, which levies charges for carbon emissions on flights in and out of Europe. Foreign governments argue Brussels is exceeding its legal jurisdiction by calculating the carbon cost over the whole flight, not just Europe. Non-EU airlines say the levy is discriminatory. Increasingly, governments and the EU's executive European Commission are looking to the U.N.'s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to find a global scheme that curbs airline emissions. Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong said opposition to the scheme was based on the way it is applied. "I was quoting the example of us flying non-stop from Singapore all the way to Europe. We get charged the whole journey, when somebody who could fly passengers to an intermediate point, and from there go to Europe, ends up paying much less," he told the same aviation conference in Singapore. Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, said any European policy that alienates the United States, China, Russia, India and three dozen other countries "is simply not going to work." "The risk for the airlines if this generates into a tit-for-tat trade war, is that airlines will be caught in a cross-fire from both sides," he said. During an industry panel discussion, Cathay Pacific CEO John Slosar took a senior European Commission official to task. "You can't have it both ways. There's a difference between leadership and bludgeoning. You guys applied the latter, and now you're discovering it works both ways," he told Matthew Baldwin of the directorate-general for mobility and transport. EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas acknowledged the growing opposition to the scheme, and said he was willing to be flexible in finding a solution, but the 27-nation bloc would not bow to pressure to suspend the scheme, which it says is part of a global fight against climate change. Aviation accounts for around 3 percent of mankind's greenhouse gas pollution. The ICAO predicts the number of air passengers...

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