US airlines attack Germany’s planned air ticket tax

(EurActiv, 4 Nov 2019) A group of US airlines has insisted that Germany’s plan to tax air tickets undermines a UN agreement on offsetting emissions from international aviation, a line of argument that is also casting doubt on the EU’s flagship emissions trading scheme (ETS).

Airlines for America (A4A), an interest group that represents US carriers American, Delta and United, wrote to the European Commission last week to express its concerns over the German government’s new climate plan.

Angela Merkel’s government wants to increase taxes on passenger tickets, both domestic and international, in order to reduce VAT on train tickets. The Bundesrepublik’s plan could net a quarter of a billion euros, €500 million of which would be spent on its railways.

But A4A says this plan is illegal, violates the EU’s aviation agreement with the US, and undermines the UN’s proposed carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation (CORSIA).

“The cross-subsidisation of the railways at the expense of the airlines violates the US-EU Air Transport Agreement,” writes A4A president Nicholas Calio in his letter to Henrik Hololei, the head of the European Commission’s transport directorate (DG MOVE).

“The burden on international aviation in this way is unnecessary and counterproductive for reducing emissions,” adds the letter, first reported by German newspaper Die Welt.

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EurActiv, 4 Nov 2019: US airlines attack Germany’s planned air ticket tax