France to impose eco-tax of up to €18 on outgoing flights

The French transport minister aims to raise €180m from 2020 to support less polluting travel alternatives

Passengers flying out of France will soon have to prepare to pay more for their tickets. The country’s government has said to implement a new eco-tax which will vary between €1.50 and €18 depending on the flight’s length.

The lower tax will apply to short-haul economy fares within the EU while the €18 charge will be included on Business class tickets of long-haul international flights.

 

The tax will only apply to outgoing flights and not to those flying into the country — Peter Moulton / Shutterstock France to impose eco-tax of up to €18 on outgoing flights
The tax will only apply to outgoing flights and not to those flying into the country — Peter Moulton / Shutterstock

“We have decided to put in place an eco-tax on all flights from France,” said French transport minister Elisabeth Borne.

She added that the tax could bring €180m from 2020 and the funds will be invested in less-polluting transport, such as trains.  

The tax will be imposed on all companies taking off from a French airport, except for flights to Corsica, French overseas departments and territories, and connecting flights, Borne added. 

However, it will only apply to outgoing flights and not to those flying into the country. 

Airlines to launch their own initiatives

The European Union warns that without any action, CO2 emissions from aviation are set to grow by up to 300 per cent by 2050.

However, not only countries and political bodies have pledged to reduce air pollution with higher taxation. The airline industry will also implement its own initiatives to become more environment-friendly. 

For instance, Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier — Ryanair — has decided to reveal the percentage of the environmental tax for 2019. 

 

Ryanair has revealed its green tax — katatonia82 / Shutterstock France to impose eco-tax of up to €18 on outgoing flights
Ryanair has revealed its green tax — katatonia82 / Shutterstock

The airline will raise it by 17 per cent and claimed that they made the information public to “dispel the myth that aviation does not pay environmental taxes.”

Ryanair claims that over €540m in environmental taxes were paid in 2018 and the carrier expects it to rise to €630m this year. This paid amount is expected to be €4.12 per passenger which is 11 per cent of Ryanair’s average ticket price.

“Ryanair is Europe’s greenest / cleanest major airline with the youngest fleet and highest load factors,” said Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs. 

“Our CO2 per passenger/km for June 2019 is 66g, almost half the rate of other flag carrier European airlines.” 

In addition, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation requires airlines to monitor and report their emissions from this year. Its full scheme should start in 2021.