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Dutch Court Upholds Flight Tax After Appeal

Reuters - 18 Jul.08

A Dutch court upheld on Thursday the introduction of a tax on passenger flights, despite an appeal from airlines and industry bodies (BARIN), the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

The tax, which took effect on July 1, will add EUR11.25 euros(USD$17.69) to the cost of a short-haul flight and EUR45 to flights longer than 2,500 km.

The court ruled that the tax was not in conflict with European and international law.

The appeal against a previous case upholding the tax in March was brought by airlines and airports including Ryanair, Maastricht airport and industry body BARIN (Board of Airline Representatives in The Netherlands).

Pieter Verboom, the chief financial officer of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, said in March the tax would cap passenger traffic growth and
profits for the year and said low-cost carriers were switching to airports outside the Netherlands.

Schiphol lost its fourth place in Europe's passenger airport rankings to Madrid last year, despite a 3.8 percent rise in 2007 passenger numbers to 47.8 million.

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