A widening split in the global aviation industry over an unpopular European carbon tax may trigger a trade war, the head of plane manufacturer Airbus said on Monday.
"I have to say I'm really worried also as a manufacturer about the consequences," Airbus Chief Executive Thomas Enders told a conference on the eve of the Singapore Airshow.
"I have seen the position in China, in Russia, in the US, in India, and what started as a scheme to present a solution for the environment has become a source of potential trade conflict," he added.
The European Union imposed the tax with effect from January 1, but over two dozen countries, including India, Russia, China and the United States, have opposed the move, saying it violates international law.
The EU has said the carbon tax will help the 27-nation bloc achieve its goal of cutting emissions by 20.0 percent by 2020.
China has barred its airlines from complying with the requirement while Europe's low-cost carriers accused their Chinese and US rivals of employing "gunboat" diplomacy in opposing the scheme.