Qantas: Australia carbon tax to increase fares

    SYDNEY (AP) ? Australia’s tax on carbon emissions will cost Qantas 110 million to 115 million Australian dollars ($118 million to $123 million) for the 2013 financial year and lead to an increase in passenger fares, the airline said Monday.

    The flagship Australian carrier is one of the first of the nation’s major companies to release details of the financial impact of the tax, which will force the 500 worst polluters to pay AU$23 for every ton of carbon they emit.

    The government released details of the tax on Sunday, saying it would help Australia lower its massive carbon emissions. Australia is one of the world’s worst greenhouse gas polluters because of its heavy reliance on coal for electricity.

    The government is granting AU$9.2 billion in compensation over the next three years to industries affected by the tax, but Qantas said airlines are exempted from that assistance. The tax goes into effect on July 1, 2012.

    Qantas said it would pass the costs onto its customers, with the tax adding an average of AU$3.50 to the price of a domestic flight ticket in the financial year ending June 30, 2013. The carbon tax does not apply to international flight fuel.

    Qantas shares were down 2.5 percent to AU$1.95 in early afternoon trading.