Global airlines slam new German departure tax

The global airline sector took aim on Tuesday at a proposed tax on passengers leaving German airports, saying it would create more turbulence just when the industry sees a smoother ride ahead.

"This is the worst kind of short-sighted policy irresponsibility. It's a cash-grab by a cash-strapped government," said Giovanni Bisignani, the director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Berlin.

"This is not the time to burden the aviation industry with more taxes ... this tax is a body blow to the weak economy and a fragile industry," he added.

"And it is a kick in the teeth to travellers when they can least afford it."

The tax, outlined in Berlin on Monday as part of a multi-billion package of belt-tightening measures, is set to run until the carbon-emissions trading scheme that has already been agreed comes into effect for air travel in 2012.

"There will be a national ecological air travel levy for all passengers who depart from domestic airports. It will be made up of different elements (price, noise, usage)," German Chancellor Angela Merkel's proposals said.

Bisignani said the tax could bring in about one billion euros annually.

He denied it would have any environmental benefit, and criticised Merkel directly for imposing the tax.

"If this is related to the environment ... I would like the chancellor to say to us, where is the investment? How many trees is she planting with this one billion?" he said.

The chief executive of German flag carrier Lufthansa, Europe's biggest airline by passenger numbers, also attacked the tax.

"What we don't need is an extra burden to slow us down," said Wolfgang Mayrhuber.

Their comments came after IATA, which represents 230 airlines and 93 percent of air traffic, said the industry would be in profit this year for the first time since 2007.

"We are upgrading our global industry forecast to a full-year profit of 2.5 billion dollars," Bisignani told reporters on Monday.

In March, the association had estimated its members would post a loss of about 2.8 billion dollars this year, following a massive drop of 9.4 billion dollars in 2009.

Merkel unveiled the tax as part of a raft of unpopular measures to tackle the country's ballooning deficit and debt problems.

By 2014, the government hopes to cut 86 billion euros (102 billion dollars) in spending, Merkel said, with around 11.2 billion euros in savings in next year's budget.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum