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AEA Pressrelease 7 nOV.08

Government’s change of heart a victory for common sense and for consumers, says AEA

The Association of European Airlines, representing Europe’s most important airlines, has welcomed the decision of the Belgian government to scrap their proposals for an airline passenger tax.

Said AEA Secretary General Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus: “this decision brings a note of sanity to the ticket tax debate. It has become fashionable for governments to plunder the airline industry and its customers, and cynically pretend they are doing so for the sake of the environment”.

It should come as no surprise, continued Mr Schulte-Strathaus, that the U-turn should have been prompted by the realisation that aviation brings jobs and prosperity, and is an essential part of national and regional infrastructure. “Taxing a national asset is just plain crazy”, he said.

The Belgian authorities are not alone in having second thoughts about taxing air passengers. In 2007 the Danish passenger tax was withdrawn, as the government recognised the benefits to the country and its citizens that would flow from improved access to air travel, while earlier this month Malta rescinded the tax on Maltese-originating passengers – for whom an air transport network is more than an asset, it is an absolute necessity.

For further information, please contact:

Françoise Humbert, General Manager Communications

Phone: +32(0) 2 639 89 93 – Email: francoise.humbert@aea.be

Note to the Editor: The Association of European Airlines (AEA) brings together 35 European established service and scheduled network carriers. These collectively carry 380 million passengers and 7 million tonnes of cargo each year, operating 2,660 aircraft serving 615 destinations in 165 countries with 11,865 flights a day. They provide around 426,000 jobs directly, and generate a total turnover of €79 billion.

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