The European Commission (EU) said Thursday that Air China and Air India were among 10 Chinese and Indian airlines facing the prospect of fines and exclusion from airports in the European Union for refusing to comply with rules aimed at regulating greenhouse emissions.
The carriers are accused of not providing emissions data, as required by the European rules, and not participating in a permit system that entitles airlines to emit greenhouse gases in European airspace.
The volume of carbon dioxide that the European Commission said the 10 carriers emitted through their jet engines in Europe last year was comparable to the emissions from burning about 130 rail cars of coal.
The commission said the eight Chinese carriers could face fines totaling €2.4 million, or $3 million, and the two Indian airlines face total fines of €30,000.
So far the emissions rules apply only to flights within Europe, and European carriers and most non-European airlines have complied. Still hotly debated, though, is the planned expansion of the system next January to include international flights in and out of Europe.
Japan, Russia and the United States, as well as China and India, were among about two dozen countries that protested against that expansion early last year.