Flights over Europe may be more expensive

The Le Monde newspaper, France, published its study on the feasibility to introduce a tax on jet kerosene, ordered by the European Commission in the middle of 2017.

The report received states that EU authorities can, without serious consequences for the industry, impose a fuel tax on airlines at the rate of € 0.33 per liter. The authors of the report promise that this innovation will have three consequences: the air tickets will become more expensive, the number of flights will be smaller, and the sky over Europe will be cleaner.

Le Monde reported on Monday that the European Commission’s Central Transport Authority ordered a study on the possible implications of imposing a jet fuel tax on both the environment and the air transportation market in April 2017. As a result, in May 2018, the European Commission had a report at its disposal that would be a weighty argument in favour of the new tax.

The EU authorities have been trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft for several years. Back in 2012, a law was passed on the European Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), according to which all airlines operating flights through EU countries are required to purchase emission allowances of 85% of the emission standards of the base 2010 for free, and the rest 15% – to pay. Then this measure caused a wave of indignation among both air carriers and non-EU countries. As a result, the law worked for less than a year and was frozen in November 2012.

Five years later, the European Commission returned to this issue, but now the environmental problem can be solved not directly – through emission quotas, but indirectly – through a fuel tax.

The authors of the report argue that the European authorities should impose a tax of € 0.33 per liter of aviation kerosene used. This will allow, according to estimates, to reduce the harmful emissions of aircraft into the atmosphere by 10%.

The mechanism of the work of the new tax is simple: the airlines will inevitably shift additional expenses for passengers, and a rise in price of air tickets will inevitably lead to a drop in demand for air travel. At the same time, as noted in the report, air carriers will not need to cut jobs.

In general, air transport is responsible for only 3% of total CO2 emissions in Europe. But planes themselves, according to the Agency for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency, produce twice as much carbon dioxide as cars and 40 times more than trains. In addition, according to forecasts, the worldwide passenger air traffic volume should double by 2037 – from 4.1 billion recorded in 2017 to 8.2 billion people.

Now the European Commission will argue for the possible introduction of tax for airlines. In addition, the Netherlands and Belgium have already expressed their support for such a move by the European authorities. And Sweden has introduced the climate fee for air tickets since April 1, 2018, which varies from € 6 to € 39. And the demand for air travel in the country has really fallen – by 4% over the year.

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