France, Netherlands plan tax on outbound flights in emission fight

09 Jul 2019


The French government is planning to introduce an eco-tax on airlines flying out of France, which is expected to raise around 180 million euros ($201.67 million) from 2020, transport minister Elisabeth Borne said today.

Borne’s statement comes ahead of a conference of 29 European countries on Thursday and Friday, which will discuss ticket taxes, kerosene levies and value-added tax (VAT) on air travel.
France is supported by the Netherlands in an effort to convince fellow European nations at a conference in The Hague to end tax exemptions on jet fuel and plane tickets, as part of a drive to make the EU carbon neutral by 2050.
Borne said the tax, which will be introduced gradually, will amount to about 1.5 euros for an economy class ticket on flights within France or the European Union, 9 euros for business class tickets, and up to 18 euros for business class ticket for flights out of the EU region. 
There will be no tax on transit flights.
“We have decided to put in place an eco-tax on all flights from France,” Borne said during a news conference, adding that the funds will finance daily transport in France.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s government wants to tighten environmental regulation but had to abandon an attempt to increase tax on diesel fuel late last year following the “yellow vest” protest movement.
France wants the new European Union Commission to push for an end to global tax exemptions for jet fuel to reduce CO2 emissions, and has also linked up with the Netherlands try and convince fellow European nations to tax airline travel more.
The Netherlands and France are pushing for an end to tax breaks on jet fuel, as European leaders discuss carbon neutrality at a separate summit in Brussels.
If no EU deal is found, the Netherlands also plans to introduce a 7.50 euro ticket tax for departing passengers from 2021.
Friends of the Earth estimates that between 1990 and 2016, aviation emissions more than doubled, while overall emissions fell by 43 per cent.
Shares of Air France and Lufthansa extended losses and were down 4.5% and 2.5% respectively following the announcement.

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