Airlines for Europe calls for Brussels to back air tax abolition

Airlines for Europe calls for Brussels to back air tax abolition

Brussels is being urged to intervene to back the abolition of taxes on airlines which cost passengers €5.6 billion across Europe in 2016.

The call came from lobby group Airlines for Europe (A4E) which named the UK as among Europe’s leading aviation tax collectors alongside Germany, Italy, France and Austria.

Last month Sweden proposed legislation for a new tax to begin in 2018.

A4E managing director Thomas Reynaert said: “Both evidence and economic facts show that removing aviation taxes is beneficial.

“Countries which have scrapped them have seen an immediate boost in air transport and tourism which has benefited their economies.

“While Scotland and Italy have taken steps in the right direction there is still a long way to go in the UK as a whole and Germany.”

He added: “The European Commission has acknowledged that aviation taxes may negatively impact connectivity and competitiveness and it has committed to publish a tax inventory to assess their effect on the economy.

“We call on the European Commission to boost Europe’s competitiveness by supporting the abolition of these damaging taxes.”

A4E also called on the commission to act over air traffic control strikes which totalled 41 days in 2016 as well as a review of the European Airport Charges Directive to combat high airport charges.

“Unreasonable aviation taxes, high airport charges and disrupted travel plans by ATC strikes are penalising passengers and undermining Europe’s economic growth and jobs,” said Reynaert,

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