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Passengers shun airports after flight tax
Photo: DPA

Passengers shun airports after flight tax

Published: 20 Jul 2011 14:47 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Jul 2011 14:47 GMT+02:00

Passenger statistics for this year’s first six months appear to show that Germany’s new flight tax is driving thrifty flyers away from German airports and to neighbouring countries.

At discount carrier Ryanair’s Frankfurt-Hahn hub, there were 12.8 percent fewer passengers during the first six months this year as compared to 2010, the Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) reported on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Berlin’s Schönefeld Airport, which is dominated by economy airlines easyJet and Germanwings, registered a small increase in passengers of just 1.4 percent.

Though German airport traffic is hardly contracting – nationally, airports saw on average a five percent rise in passengers – those numbers are much less than the European average of a 12.1 percent increase, the FTD reported.

In comparison, Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands had 1.2 million passengers in this year’s first six months – 30 percent more than last year. The Dutch airport competes with Weeze in neighbouring North Rhine-Westphalia, which saw a 2.7 percent dip. Maastricht’s Airport more than doubled its passenger numbers.

It’s not clear how much of the damage is being done by airlines cutting flights and how much by passengers actively seeking cheaper department points. Ryanair has expressed particular anger toward the levy and has slashed its German schedule in response.

The German Airports Association (ADV) said the statistics showed the tax was stunting the country’s airports.

“It reveals ever more marked damage since the beginning of the year caused by

the flight tax,” said ADV CEO Ralph Beisel. “The result will be a loss of jobs in Germany.”

In March, government officials revealed that the tax, which is supposed to bring €1 billion per year in additional revenues to government coffers, was bringing in much less money than expected. They said they hoped a busy summer travel season would boost revenues.

The Local/DAPD/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:07 July 21, 2011 by JohnAndersson
This is great!!! I wish it was a lot more than 12.8% Air travel is not a sustainable method of transport and should be avoided.
15:13 July 21, 2011 by dbert4
Air travel is off a Frankfurt-Hahn because Ryan Air cut their flights to protest the tax. Not because passengers went elsewhere voluntarily. But it make a good story, if you are the ADV.
23:04 July 21, 2011 by Logic Guy
Well, before the tax was implemented, I warned that it would hurt Germany, more than improve things. From what I understand, the tax, for a flight from the US, would cost a traveler an extra $70, approximately. This sum is simply too much.

Usually there is a better way. The Germany government should find another means in which to increase revenue. The nation as a whole loses under this tax system.
17:32 July 22, 2011 by MarshaLynn
Imagine that! Taxing something caused it to be used less. What a novel concept. Who would have thought it? Hint: Taxation discourages use of a thing. If you want the thing to be used, don't tax it. In general, if you want business to thrive, reduce the tax burden on it. Also, consider getting rid of socialist programs, because they are expensive, unsustainable, and eventually fail under their own weight. Living in Utopia only works until you run out of money. Then it's back down to Earth with a huge thud.
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