12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
Germany’s conservatives have reportedly proposed doubling the air tax on domestic flights as part of its goal to reduce the country’s CO2 emissions.
According to the BBC, the leadership of the Christian Democrats (CDU) put forward the idea in its policy document. The party forms a coalition government with the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD).
Under the plans, connecting flights that are part of long-haul journeys will be exempt from the air tax increase. The CDU also said flights operated using alternatives to fossil fuels should not be subject to any tax.
Currently, Germany levies a tax of €7.38 (£6.50) per ticket on domestic flights.
The CDU’s policy said it would work with the aviation industry and invest in the development of electric-powered aircraft for short-haul flights and to create “synthetic” fuel to facilitate “climate neutrality” on medium and long-haul services.
The coalition government is expected to reveal a new climate package on 20 September, which is predicted to include more grants for electric car buyers, encouraging train travel and raising road taxes for the most polluting vehicles.
If Germany implements the tax increase, it would follow France, which will introduce an ‘eco-tax’ on all flights departing the country from 2020. The UK government is also reportedly mulling a similar fee, though passengers departing from British airports already pay the highest rate of Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Europe – something MPs have repeatedly criticised.
Commenting on the current aviation tax in Germany, a Lufthansa Group spokesperson told BBT: “A high burden for domestic flights disproportionately affects German airlines and deprives them of money for modern airplanes and climate-friendly technologies. Instead of considering a further increase in the aviation tax, it would be more effective from a climate policy point of view to use existing revenues for climate protection, for example to promote alternative fuels.
"Domestic flights account for 0.3 percent of Germany's overall carbon dioxide. It is more than questionable whether the proposed measures will bring tangible ecological results. What is certain, however, are the associated economic consequences. The proposal also fails to recognise that, unlike other modes of transport, aviation has been part of the EU emissions trading scheme since 2012. Thanks to this binding emissions cap, the sector is already growing CO2-neutrally on routes in Germany and Europe".