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Legal battle against Dutch travel tax continues

ELFAA Newsletter 2 Apr.08

A travel tax of 11.25 for short-haul and 45 for long-haul routes, recently imposed by the Dutch government, and applicable from 1 July 2008, has been challenged by a number of interested parties, on the basis of its incompatibility with the Chicago Convention and the EU State aid rules.

ELFAA believes that environmental impacts of aviation can best be mitigated through a properly designed emissions trading scheme, a market-based measure aimed at incentivising environmentally-efficient behaviour and penalising environmental inefficiency.

ELFAA questioned the claimed environmental credentials of the Dutch travel tax.
It does not apply to the large numbers of transfer passengers in the Netherlands,
who contribute to pollution more than point-to-point passengers (transfer passengers require two take-offs and two landings, the most energy intensive phases of flight). In addition it does not apply to freight flights, and nor does it
properly reflect the environmental impact of flights, as it taxes passengers not planes, and provides no incentives to improve environmental performance.

On 19 March, District Court in The Hague delivered its verdict on several interim
measures applications, aimed at suspending the tax until its legality is decided by the Court in main proceedings. Regrettably, the Court allowed the tax to continue pending the outcome of the case. A number of claimants have already confirmed their intention to appeal this interim decision.

ELFAA looks forward to this travel tax being declared unlawful.

ELFAA - European Low Fares Airline Association

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