Officials have unveiled plans for a new tax on all flights from airports in France.
Branded as an ‘eco-tax’, the new levy is expected to raise around €180 million annually from 2020, according to transport minister, Elisabeth Borne. The amount of the tax will depend on the type of ticket being bought. Economy class tickets on flights within France or the EU will have a tax of €1.50 imposed. Business class tickets for flights out of the EU will have the highest tariff, of up to €18.
A similar Air Passenger Duty is already in place in the UK. The tax will only apply to outgoing flights and not to those flying into the country.
Borne said the money raised by the tax will be invested in in less-polluting transport, such as rail. The International Air Transport Association was quick to condemn the move.
“This tax is misguided,” read a statement from the trade body.
“Since 1990, airlines have reduced carbon emissions per passenger 50 per cent, and from 2020 will be paying to offset all the growth in emissions.
“A tax will not help the industry to invest in cleaner fuels and technology.
“It will also damage €100 billion that aviation generates for the French economy, and 500,000 new jobs are at risk from the lack of competitiveness of French aviation.”
Some 81 per cent of French people don’t trust their government to spend environmental taxes on environmental action, IATA added.
The airline industry is also introducing its own initiatives to try and reduce pollution. The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation requires airlines to monitor and report their emissions from this year. The full scheme will start in 2021.