Europe is asking to tax air travel

Following the Netherlands‘ lead, Belgium is poised to propose the introduction of a European taxation on commercial aviation to its counterparts within the European Union. This proposed taxation could potentially encompass levies on aviation fuel, which is currently exempt from taxation, or the imposition of value-added tax (VAT) on airline tickets.

The discussion regarding this matter is scheduled to occur during the Council of Environment Ministers’ meeting next Tuesday. This initiative has been prompted by Koen Van den Heuvel, the new Flemish Minister for the Environment. In a communication distributed to fellow EU members, the Belgian delegation advocates for the implementation of a “fair and equitable pricing framework for air transportation in view of its environmental impact.” The communication highlights the current lack of taxation on aviation fuel and VAT on tickets, juxtaposing it against comparatively higher taxation on more environmentally friendly transportation modes like railways.

These European-level discussions are anticipated to equip the upcoming European Commission with suitable proposals, as expressed by Walloon Environment Minister Jean-Luc Crucke. Belgium aligns itself with the initiative spearheaded by France and the Netherlands in this regard.

However, undertaking such measures unilaterally poses challenges due to competitive pressures from neighboring countries that may serve as bases for low-cost airlines.

The historical background of not taxing aircraft fuel traces back to World War II when the United States prioritized the development of civil aviation by implementing this exemption.

The article Europe is asking to tax air travel first appeared in TravelDailyNews International.

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Author: Tatiana Rokou