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Tax on short flights worries Brussels Airlines

Tax on short flights worries Brussels Airlines

Short trips by plane should not be encouraged with a tax. The aviation sector is concerned.

Anyone who boards a plane on a flight of less than 500 km will soon have to pay a tax on their ticket. Through the so-called “boarding tax”, the government wants to combat pollution from such flights. The tax should also collect 30 million euros. There is not much concrete information yet. How much is the boarding tax and whether it has to be paid on each short flight: these methods seem to have not yet been determined.

This is what makes the aviation sector nervous. “We are not against the tax, but it should not cause competitive damage,” says Mikey Andres, a spokeswoman for Brussels Airlines. It thinks of passengers who take short trips and then move on to a long-haul flight. According to her, almost every traveler who travels from Paris to Brussels does this: they move there on a trip to Africa. The company wants these transported passengers to remain tax-exempt. “This is also the case in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris or London,” Andres says. If those passengers also have to pay that tax, that traffic will shift there. So you have no climate benefit and our hub model is not suitable.

The Belgian aviation organization PATA says that it is better to take such measures at the European or even global level. At the same time, she argues in favor of investing tax revenue in “greening the aviation sector.”

Correction 10/13, 2:35 a.m.: In an earlier version of this article, she stated that “according to her, almost every traveler who travels from Brussels to Paris does this: they move there on a trip to Africa.” This was later changed to “From Paris to Brussels”.

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