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Dutch Ticket Tax Proposal Slammed By IATA

by Carla Johnson, Investors, London

23 October 2007

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has condemned the Dutch Government’s plans to impose further taxes on air passengers.

The government is planning to tax passengers departing the Netherlands by air as much as EUR45, citing environmental reasons.

“This passenger tax is ineffective, inappropriate and it breaches international obligations. It is a thinly disguised tax grab that does nothing for the environment. If anything, it is counter productive as it limits airlines’ ability to buy newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft,” argued Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO.

He continued: “Airlines are making great strides to improve their environmental performance. Last year we saved 6 million tonnes of CO2 by shortening 350 routes globally. We have improved fuel efficiency 70% over the past 40 years and forecast a further 25% improvement by 2020."

"The Dutch Government should be looking at what it can do to help airlines limit emissions. It can start by working with other EU governments to implement a Single European Sky that would save 12 million tonnes of CO2 each year. It should also look at tax credits as an incentive to improve environmental performance rather than counterproductive taxes.”

The passenger tax also breaches resolutions of the International Civil Organisation (ICAO) and Article 15 of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, according to the IATA. “I am surprised that the Netherlands, as an ICAO Contracting State, chooses to ignore its obligations and trample over international agreements,” Bisignani commented.

“We are seeing a worrying trend across Europe with governments cynically taxing air passengers for environmental reasons then failing to use the revenues for environmental purposes. These taxes are blunt instruments that just damage tourism and impact the competitiveness of European businesses. We urge the Dutch Government to rethink this ineffective, inappropriate and misguided proposal,” Bisignani concluded.

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