Denmark also introduces environmental aviation tax

Denmark will impose a tax on air travel starting in 2025. By 2030, the flight tax should be at cruising speed and will amount to an average of 100 Danish kroner or 13,5 euros, the Danish government has announced. At the same time, it is calling for the adoption of a European tax on the subject.

The flight tax will apply to flights departing from Denmark but not to transfer travelers. At start-up in 2025, it will be 30 Danish kroner, or 4 euros, for short flights, rising to 50 kroner in 2030. The tax will be higher for long-haul flights, going up to 410 kroner, or 55 euros, in 2030.

€2 billion a year

The Danish government wants to use the proceeds from the flight tax, estimated at nearly 2 billion euros a year, to help airlines transition to cleaner fuels. It aims to have all domestic flights use only green fuels by the decade’s end. Another part of the money will be used to support those with the lowest pensions.

“The transport sector is currently going through a rapid greening process, and with this agreement, this also applies to aviation,” said Danish Transport Minister Thomas Danielsen. “It will still be possible to take the plane, but it must be possible to do so in an environmentally friendly way.”

According to the cabinet, the agreement will reduce 100 000 tons of CO2 per year.

Call for one EU tax

Danish Climate and Energy Minister Lars Aagaard hopes that agreements will also be made at the European level in the coming years for an air passenger tax. Countries like Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden already have flight taxes.

In Belgium, the flight tax is highest for short flights, less than 500 km, namely 10 euros. For other flights in Europe, you pay 2 euros and for flights outside European borders, it is 4 euros.

The ecological political party Groen wants to align these rates with those of neighboring countries, with the result that they would increase fivefold. For short flights, it would be 50 euros, 10 euros for other European flights, and 30 euros outside Europe.

‘Tax too tiny’

In a reaction to The Washington Post, Magdalena Heuwieser, co-founder of the Stay Grounded network, called the measure little more than “greenwash that will ultimately fuel the industry’s growth”. She called the tax too tiny for demand reduction.

According to Heuwieser, Denmark has enough rail connections to ban all domestic flights. “This would be much more sustainable, as flying is always more energy intensive, no matter which technology comes up in the future.”

Scandinavian Airlines SAS has direct flights from Copenhagen to Aarhus, Aalborg, Billund, Karup, Rønne (Bornholm), and Sønderborg. In each case, these are flights less than 500 km long. In the past, the European environmental umbrella organization Transport & Environment (T&E) has already denounced the unjustified tax exemptions in the aviation sector.


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