China is blocking airlines from placing Airbus aircraft orders in retaliation against the new European aviation carbon tax, the head of Airbus parent EADS said Thursday.

EADS CEO Louis Gallois said the Chinese government was barring Chinese carriers from completing orders for long-haul aircraft, according to a BBC report. Gallois was speaking at a press conference to announce company’s full-year financial results (ATW Daily News, March 8).

The company stated in its financial report that an anticipated ramp-up in A330 production could be impacted by the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) if that prompts retaliatory actions.

ETS was the subject of many negative comments at the opening day of the FAA Aviation Forecast Conference in Washington Thursday. US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said it was a very bad tax (ATW Daily News, March 8).

In later remarks, FedEx Express president and CEO Dave Bronczek said he fully agreed that Europe’s approach was wrong. “We need to work on this together. I think retributions will happen if we don’t do this,” he said.

US National Business Aviation Assn. president and CEO Ed Bolan said he believed ETS was more about funding governments than improving the environment. “If we are really committed to the environment—which we are—then it can be achieved through fuel burn, not taxes,” he said.

Photo: EADS CEO Louis Gallois. Courtesy, EADS