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AIRLINES PROTEST DUTCH TRAVEL TAX

Association of European Airlines Pressrelease 1 Oct.07

‘A money-raising measure masquerading as an environmental tax’, says AEA
The Association of European Airlines, whose 31 members include the most important
network airlines in Europe, has attacked the Dutch Government’s decision to impose a
travel tax on passengers departing from Dutch airports, of €11.25 for intra-European
flights and €45 for intercontinental journeys. The measure is expected to raise around
€350 million annually for the Dutch exchequer. The tax has been presented as an
environmental measure, although the revenue will not be used for environmental
purposes, nor for infrastructure projects which could reduce aviation’s impact on the
environment.
Said AEA Secretary General Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus: “For the AEA airlines,
greenhouse-gas emissions per passenger and per kilometre have reduced almost
20% over the last ten years. This has been achieved through investment in more
efficient aircraft, and the tailoring of capacity to demand resulting in fewer empty seats.
This new tax will contribute nothing, absolutely nothing, to that process”.
“The next big leap forward in environmental performance should come from the
rationalisation of European airspace – the Single Sky project – which would eliminate
wasteful and inefficient flight routings. This new tax will contribute nothing to that
process”.
“What it will do is to persuade Dutch travellers to jump in their cars and drive to
airports in nearby countries, where passengers are not discriminated against in this
way”, he added. “This proposal is all the more confusing in the message it sends to
the aviation industry, as it will particularly hurt Dutch home carrier KLM, which has
recently been recognized yet again by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices as preeminent
within the airline sector for promoting sustainable development.”
AEA, he said, had developed a comprehensive Emissions Containment Policy, to
which the other sectors of the European aviation industry had subscribed. Through
technological and operational advances, backed by the very necessary airspace
improvements, greenhouse-gas emissions would be brought to manageable levels.
“Any remaining need for abatement should be addressed through an emissions
trading scheme which, if it is well designed and constructed, will deliver precisely the desired environmental result. There is absolutely no need for it to be supplemented
by additional taxes, which are distortive and damaging”.
The proposed tax is the latest in a proliferating series of such measures in Europe, all of which have been justified, in whole or in part, by a ‘green’ tag. Said Mr Schulte-
Strathaus: “There is a common misperception that aviation is inadequately taxed in
comparison to other transport modes. This fails to acknowledge is that aviation pays
its own way. In comparison, roads and road traffic management are publicly funded.
Railways are in receipt of massive public subsidy. Airlines pay for their airport
infrastructure and their traffic management. In other words they are – substantially –
net contributors to public funds”.


For further information, please contact:
Françoise Humbert
General Manager Communications
Phone: +32(0) 2 639 89 93
Email: francoise.humbert@aea.be
www.aea.be
Note to the Editor: The Association of European Airlines (AEA) brings together 31
European established service and scheduled network carriers. These collectively carry
320 million passengers and 6 million tons of cargo each year, operating 2,400 aircraft
serving 620 destinations in 160 countries with 10,720 flights a day. They provide
around 378,000 jobs directly, and generate a total turnover of €75 billion.

Association of European Airlines - Avenue Louise 350 - 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)2 639 89 89 - Fax: +32 (0)2 639 89 99
aea.secretariat@aea.be - www.aea.be

Members of the Association of European Airlines
Adria Airways:
Aer Lingus
Air France
Air Malta
Air One
Alitalia
Austrian
bmi
British Airways
Brussels Airlines
Cargolux
Croatia Airlines
CSA
Cyprus Airways
Finnair
Iberia
Icelandair
Jat Airways
KLM
LOT
Lufthansa
Luxair
Malev
Olympic Airlines
SAS
Spanair
SWISS
TAP Portugal
TAROM
Turkish Airlines
Virgin Atlantic Airways

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