Airlines rage against French eco-taxes
During the yearly meeting of the Airline for Europe Association (A4E), CEOs of Europe’s major airlines rage against the recently announced French eco-tax on flying. According to them, it will lead to a reduction in investment for cleaner flight capabilities. For Belgian Mobility Minister, François Bellot (MR), such taxes should be studied and implemented on a European level.
On Tuesday, France announced its plan to increase so-called eco-taxes on flying and road transport. The government intends to tax flights departing from French airports from 1,5 to 18 euros per passenger depending on the distance and air travel class.
‘Reducing investment capabilities’
“The tax has to yield 182 million by 2020. The amount will be invested in more eco-friendly transport, such as trains,” declares French Transport Minister, Elisabeth Borne (LREM). There lies the issue. Essentially, airlines will pay for the competition’s development.
“It will reduce our capacity of investment for cleaner flights,” says Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG Group. The Director of A4E, Thomas Reynaert, adds that European air transport already has to reach ETS carbon quotas. Between 2013 and 2018, they paid 1,3 billion euros. This year, the amount should increase by 59%.
European level tax
Belgian Mobility Minister, François Bellot (MR), has another take on the issue. “If everyone starts applying taxes in its corner, like the vignettes in French cities, it’s going to be mayhem,” declares the Minister. According to him, such taxes have to be studied and implemented on a European level.
“Some American airlines have already explained to me that there’s nothing easier than to first land a transatlantic flight in Tangier and then fly to France to minimize the eco-taxes. Plus, with the Brexit, such opportunities will open in the UK,” adds François Bellot.
Airlines declare not to be opposed to any taxes, as long as the money is invested in the aviation sector. In that case, it’s a win-win situation for everyone as cleaner airplanes will pollute less and, consequently, consume less fuel.