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Germany announces steep rise in air taxes to reduce number of domestic flights

Wednesday, 16 October, 2019 - 11:02

The German government has agreed to double the rate of tax on short haul air travel within the country as part of a broader climate package intended to bring Europe’s largest economy back on course towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030.

The additional income will be used to finance a VAT reduction on train tickets.

The measures announced on Tuesday will increase taxes on flights of up to 2,500 kilometres by 74 percent, to 13.03 euros.

Tax on longer-haul flights will rise by around 41 percent, reaching 33.01 euros for trips of up to 6,000 km and 59.43 euros on those longer than that.

The charges are expected to bring in an extra 740 million euros a year, according to the

The additional income will be used to finance a reduction of the value added tax (VAT) on train tickets from the current 19 percent to 7 percent. 

“Travel by train should not only become cheaper, but the flights will be at the same time more expensive,” said the German government in a statement announcing the measures.

The application of the aviation tax, which was scheduled for early next year, has been delayed until April, so airlines will still have six months to adapt to the new standard, Bloomberg reported.

The German government also announced the imposition of a CO2 tax from 2021 that will affect the price of gasoline, diesel, heating oil and natural gas. The rate will start at 10 euros per ton of carbon dioxide and rise to 35 euros per ton in 2025.

Germany is the sixth biggest emitter of C02 in the world after China, the United States, India, Russia and Japan.

Last July, France also announced the introduction of an eco-tax on air tickets that will range from 1.50 euros to 18 euros on flights from the mainland, excluding those to Corsica, the overseas French territories and connecting flights. The French government estimates that the tax should bring in about 182 million euros annually from 2020.



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