France proposes much higher air ticket taxes, of €30 for <2,000km and €60 for longer (€180 and €400 for business class)

The French government is considering introducing much more tax on flying.  Air travel pays no fuel duty and also pays no VAT in the EU. Currently the UK has some of the highest flight taxes, of just £13 for a short haul flight, and £80 on long haul (rising to £82 from April 2021). This tax is to compensate for the lack of income to the Treasury for the absence of fuel duty or VAT. Now France is considering (it is not agreed) taxing economy flights of under 2,000km, €30 and €180 for business class.  The tax is only for a departure, not for an arrival.  For flights of over 2,000 km the tax would be €60 for economy class, and €400 for business class.  And €2,400 for private jet flights. Earlier this year, France introduced a tiny “air passenger solidarity tax,” which starts at €1.50 for a short haul economy ticket, and at the most is €18 for a long haul business class ticket. That level of tax is not enough to have any effect on achieving any environmental offset, or deterring flying. The higher levels of tax just might … France’s Ministry of Ecological Transition is having a final meeting about the suggested changes on Saturday, and a bill is expected to be introduced in parliament by the end of October.


New eco-tax would add €400 to the cost of a one-way business class long-haul flight

By Helen Coffey @LenniCoffey

The Independent
1st October 2020

France is considering introducing a radical eco-tax on flights, which, if approved, would be one of the biggest environmental taxes on air travel of any country in the world.

If it goes ahead, the “reinforced eco-contribution”, which appears similar to the UK’s own Air Passenger Duty (APD), will add a significant amount to the price of air fares.

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

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

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

Other proposed measures designed to “limit the harmful effects of air transport” include banning the construction of new airports and the expansion of existing ones, eliminating domestic flights by 2025 where there’s a low-carbon alternative that takes less than four hours, and adding extra taxes onto recreational aviation fuel.

France’s Ministry of Ecological Transition is having a final meeting about the suggested changes on Saturday, and a bill is expected to be introduced in parliament by the end of October.

It follows the original introduction of an “eco-tax” on flights from France in July 2019, although these rates were set much lower, ranging from €1.50 for short-haul flights and up to €18 for long-haul journeys in business class.

Leading figures in French aviation have hit back at the proposals, calling them the “death” of the industry.

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

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

The DGCA estimates the reinforced eco-contribution would cut the number of air travellers by 14-19 per cent and lead to 120,000-150,000 job losses.


France Considers Airline Eco-Tax (Up To ~$470 For One-Way Ticket)

SEPTEMBER 11, 2020
BY BEN  (One Mile at a Time)

The French government is considering introducing what would be the most aggressive environmental tax we’ve seen on flights anywhere in the world.We’ve seen many governments introduce, or at least consider, environmental taxes on flights. This is intended to help offset emissions, and also in many cases is intended to discourage flying.

Well, as Les Echos reports, France is considering taxing airline tickets to an extent we’ve never seen before anywhere in the world.

France’s Ministry of Ecological Transition will be having a final meeting about this on Saturday, before a bill is expected to be introduced in parliament before the end of the month. 130 of 150 members of the organization generally support these measures, and apparently President Emmanuel Macron is in favor of these changes as well.

What would this new environmental tax look like for airline tickets?

For economy flights of under 2,000km, the tax would be 30 EUR one-way
For economy flights of over 2,000km, the tax would be 60 EUR one-way
For business class flights of under 2,000km, the tax would be 180 EUR one-way
For business class flights of over 2,000km, the tax would be 400 EUR one-way
For private jet flights, the tax would be 2,400 EUR one-way

These taxes are unbelievably high, unlike anything we’ve seen before. In other words, a one-way business class ticket from Paris to Istanbul would come with a 400 EUR (~473 USD) eco-tax, in addition to all the other taxes that are already charged.It’s not entirely clear if taxes would only apply on flights departing France, or if they’d also apply on flights to France. I suspect it’s the former, much like the UK Air Passenger Duty, but I could be mistaken.

For some context, just this year France introduced an “air passenger solidarity tax,” which starts at 1.50EUR for a short haul economy ticket, and maxes out at 18 EUR for a long haul business class ticket. Suffice to say that these new proposed taxes are in different leagues.

How much money would this tax raise?
How much money would be raised if this new tax were introduced?

Annual air transportation taxes collected by France would increase from 440 million EUR to 4.2 billion EUR
Air France’s eco-contribution would be increased from 60 million EUR annually to somewhere around 1.2 billion EUR annually

France’s Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) states that:
There would be an estimated 14-19% drop in the number of travelers
There would be an estimated 120,000-150,000 jobs lost
It’s pointed out that in France, planes contribute 4% of greenhouse gas emissions from transport, while cars contribute 90% of emissions
This would reduce CO2 emissions by 3.5 million tons per year out of a total of 441 million tons emitted in France, for a total reduction of 0.79%
It’s even questionable if this would actually reduce emissions as much as predicted, since it’s likely that for long haul travel people will instead just choose to fly out of nearby countries
This would put Air France at a serious disadvantageOther French aviation proposals
The above new passenger tax isn’t the only concept under consideration. Other recommendations with this proposal include the following:By 2025, domestic flights would be eliminated completely, when there’s a low-carbon alternative In less than four hours
Banning the construction of new airports, and the expansion of existing airports
There’s also talk of banning advertising planes, and adding additional taxes on recreational aviation fuel
Airport expansion could be banned as part of this proposalThis aviation tax crosses the line
Even pre-pandemic, airlines were starting to take environmentalism more seriously, and we’ve seen airlines around the world pledge to carbon offset their flying. In general I’m not opposed to a modest aviation tax, if the money goes towards causes that help the environment.However, this proposal being considered by France crosses the line, in my opinion:Airlines are facing the worst crisis they’ve ever dealt with, and this will put them in an even worse situation; it’s one thing to add a tax like this during the best of times, but during the worst of times?
In the long run, changes like these will lead to airlines having less money to invest in new, more fuel efficient planes
This unfairly disadvantages those traveling to & from France; I believe those connecting in France between other countries wouldn’t have to pay this tax, while those flying exclusively between France and another country would have to pay this tax
I think governments should be incentivizing airlines to operate more fuel efficient aircraft, and minimizing per-person emissions, rather than just trying to destroy aviation altogether
Bottom line
France is seriously considering new environmental measures for the airline industry, the most significant of which is a new tax of 30-400 EUR one-way. This is an unbelievably high tax that I simply can’t make sense of, especially at a time when airlines are already struggling for survival.



The main proposals of the climate convention scrutinized – by Le Monde
In French, but you can get Google Translate to put it into English
These were the proposals on aviation. See the website and links for details of each.

Adopt a reinforced eco-contribution per kilometre on airline tickets

The detailed proposal

Adopt a reinforced eco-contribution per kilometer.

Our analysis

The eco-contribution provided for in the 2020 budget is between 1.50 euros per ticket on a domestic or intra-European economy class flight, and 18 euros for a non-EU business class flight. This amount is considered “far too low to have a deterrent effect” . The 150 citizens propose to increase it and calculate it according to the distance: 30 euros in economy class for a flight of less than 2000 km, 60 euros beyond (180/400 in business class). Deputies Delphine Batho and François Ruffin tabled a bill on Tuesday, June 30, aimed at establishing an individual carbon quota (a number of kilometers per person) to limit air travel.


End domestic flights when an alternative of less than four hours exists

The detailed proposal

Gradually organize the end of air traffic on domestic flights by 2025, only on routes where there is a low-carbon alternative that is satisfactory in terms of price and time (over a journey of less than four hours).

This measure (SD-E2) is part of the objective “To regulate the production, import and use of technical aids and food additives” .

Our analysis

The convention proposes to gradually close, by 2025, domestic lines wherever “there is a low carbon alternative that is satisfactory in terms of price and time” . This covers journeys that can be made by train in less than four hours. A bill had already been tabled in this regard by several deputies during the debate on the law on mobility. She had been called back.

What becomes of the proposal?

Future not decided

In front of the 150 citizens of the convention, on June 29, Emmanuel Macron declared himself in favor of a less ambitious version of the proposal : only trips feasible in less than 2:30 by train would be prohibited by plane. This effectively excludes flights like Paris-Bordeaux or Paris-Marseille. }}


Prohibit the construction and expansion of airports

The detailed proposal

Prohibit the construction of new airports and the extension of existing airports.

This measure (SD-E3) is part of the objective “To regulate the production, import and use of technical aids and food additives” .

Our analysis

While the abandonment of the airport project at Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique) in 2018 is still in everyone’s mind, two important projects are underway in France: the construction of a fourth terminal in Paris – Charles-de-Gaulle and the extension of Nice airport. They are the subject of strong local protest. The Roissy megaproject should make it possible to absorb around 450 more flights per day and to accommodate 40 million additional passengers per year by 2037. A heresy for environmental defenders.

For convention lawyers, adjustments should be made to this proposal to allow security work or sites in progress to be completed, and take into account the particular situation of landlocked territories or overseas.


Taxing more fuel for recreational aviation

Increase tax on recreational fuel.

Promote a European eco-contribution on international flights

Promote the idea of ​​a European eco-contribution.

Impose full compensation of emissions from domestic flights to airlines

The detailed proposal

Make full compensation for CO 2 emissions from all domestic aircraft flights compulsory from 2021 (compensation of at least 40%, gradually increased to 100% in 2029).

From 2024, companies that refuse to apply the 60% compensation may have their right to operate overseas departments and territories withdrawn.

Support research and development of biofuels for aircraft

The detailed proposal

Support, in the medium term, research and development in the development of a biofuel sector for aircraft.

Our analysis

To achieve their objective of “limiting the harmful effects of air transport” , the members of the convention ask to support research and development of a biofuel sector for airplanes. Internationally, the sector has been slow to commit to limiting its greenhouse gas emissions, or at least maintaining them at the level of what it will have emitted in 2020. It is implementing much on these fuels from agricultural products to achieve this.

However, the harmful effects of fuels made from palm oil, sugar cane, soybeans in particular are obvious: deforestation, competition with food crops, disappearance of wetlands and peatlands, to the point that they emit themselves a lot of GHGs. Regulations are also in the process of changing with regard to them, especially in Europe, which plans to no longer subsidize them for renewable energies. There are other types of biofuels from waste or already used oils that could be developed.

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