European airlines furious over extra tax

Plans to put an extra tax on air travel in the Netherlands are ‘a money-raising measure masquerading as an environmental tax’, says the European airline association AEA.

‘European airlines have reduced greenhouse gas emissions per passenger and per kilometre by almost 20% over the past 10 years,’ said AEA secretary general Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus. ‘This new measure will contribute nothing, absolutely nothing to that process.’
The Dutch government’s proposal will in particularly hurt Dutch carrier KLM which is ‘pre-eminent within the airline sector for promoting sustainable development,’ Schulte-Strathaus said.
The AEA represents 31 major European airlines.
In last month’s budget, the cabinet announced plans to put an extra charge of €11.25 on short-haul and €45 on long-haul flights.
The aim is to make travellers aware of the environmental cost of flying, the cabinet said. The measure will raise an estimated €350m a year for the treasury.
Junior finance minister Jan Kees de Jager told parliament on Monday that the new tax will lead to a reduction in passengers at regional airports of between 11% and 13% and a 10% cut at Schiphol in Amsterdam. It will also lower emissions by some 9%, he said.
According to a report by the government’s economic policy unit CPB, the tax on plane tickets will lead to the loss of between 5,000 and 10,000 jobs in and around Schiphol airport, reports the Financieele Dagblad.
However, the job losses should not be seen as a major problem because people will find it easy to get other work, the CPB added.

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