The carbon tax imposed by the European Union on carriers for using European airspace is nothing short of \"penalising\" the Gulf carriers even though they boast a young and fuel-efficient fleet, according to a senior industry executive. \"Our airlines have invested millions in a young and fuel efficient fleet but are still being penalised. We should strongly oppose such unilateral initiatives,\" Georges Hannouche, chief executive of Bayanat Airports Engineering and Supplies, said on Thursday while addressing the Green Aviation and Logistics Conference. Gulf airlines will start charging passengers additional fees as early as March 1, Hannouche said. Etihad Airways said recently it will increase the fuel surcharge by $3 (Dh11) per passenger starting March 1, and $0.03 per kg for cargo shipments. Emirates estimates the carbon tax will add an extra burden of over €40 million to its costs this year, with costs to be passed on to customers.