European aviation eco taxes; managing sustainable travel

Some key themes

  • Aviation’s continued growth is increasing its impact on the environment.
  • European governments are moving closer to introducing eco taxes on aviation.
  • Excluding transfer passengers from any departure tax risks damaging the environmental credentials of such schemes.
  • The U.K. government, which has taxed air passenger departures since 1994, is now looking to promote carbon offsetting.
  • KLM stands out among airlines for embracing the need to reduce air travel.
  • IATA would prefer governments supported the development of sustainable aviation fuels rather than introduce taxes that could damage the aviation industry.

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International environmental organization “Friends of the Earth” estimates aviation emissions more than doubled between 1990 and 2016, while overall emissions from all sources fell by 43%.1 Low aviation taxes, a proliferation of low-cost carriers and the rise of alternative accommodation have been blamed for an air-travel boom. While the debate continues, European governments are starting to look to taxation as a way of reducing aviation’s environmental impact. Read more

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