France proposes radical environmental tax on flights

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France plans to introduce a radical eco-tax on flights, which, if approved, would be one of the largest environmental taxes on air travel of any country in the world.

If it goes ahead, the ‘enhanced eco-contribution’, which appears similar to the UK’s own air passenger tax (ODA), will add a significant amount to the price of air fares.

Short-haul economy flights (less than 2,000 km) would be taxed at € 30 one way; medium and long distance economy (over 2,000 km) at € 60 one way; short-haul business class tickets at € 180 one way; and medium to long-haul business class at € 400 one way.

The heaviest tax of all would be applied to private jets, with flights taxed at € 2,400 one-way regardless of distance, financial newspaper reports The echoes.

The move could reduce carbon emissions by 3.5 million tonnes per year, according to the country’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Other measures proposed to “limit the adverse effects of air transport” include banning the construction of new airports and expanding existing airports, eliminating domestic flights by 2025 where there is a low-carbon alternative that takes less than four hours, and the addition of additional taxes on recreational aviation fuel.

The French Ministry of Ecological Transition is holding a final meeting on the suggested changes on Saturday, and a bill is expected to be presented to parliament by the end of October.

The great figures of French aviation have responded to the proposals, calling them the “death” of the industry.

“If these proposals are followed, it will be the death of several airlines and airports in France, which are already suffering the most violent shock in their history,” said Thomas Juin, president of the Union of French airports.

“We will see massive shutdowns of air links, with serious consequences for tourism and the economy of the [French] territories. “

The DGCA estimates that the enhanced eco-contribution would reduce the number of air travelers by 14 to 19% and create between 120,000 and 150,000 jobs.

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