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German Air Travel Ticket Tax Fair, Says Court

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

07 November 2014


The German Aviation Association (BDL) has said that it will continue to seek the removal of the tax on airline tickets, despite the country's Constitutional Court ruling (1 BvF 3/11) recently in favor of the levy.

The tax was introduced in 2011 by Angela Merkel's Government in an effort to cut carbon emissions. It is levied on both domestic and international airlines at rates of EUR7.50 (USD9.37), EUR23.43, and EUR42.18 depending on the distance traveled, and generates about EUR1bn in revenue each year.

The tax was initially EUR8 per passenger for short haul flights up to 2,500 kilometers, EUR25 for medium-haul flights of up to 6,000 kilometers, and EUR45 for long-distance flights, but these rates were reduced from January 1, 2012.

Klaus-Peter Siegloch, the President of the BDL, told German media that the industry would continue to challenge the levy, which he said has resulted in losses worth EUR2bn for German airlines.

The German state of Rhineland-Palatinate mounted the legal challenge on the grounds that it was causing passengers to avoid German airports in favor of airports in neighboring countries, which do not levy such a tax.

However, the Constitutional Court ruled on November 5, 2014, that the tax is compatible with the Basic Law and does not conflict with the rights of passengers and airlines.

TAGS: tax | air passenger duty (APD) | pollution tax | law | carbon tax | Germany

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