• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

US airlines fight 'cash-grab' ticket tax

The Local · 23 Mar 2012, 16:22

Published: 23 Mar 2012 16:22 GMT+01:00

Airline trade organisation Airlines for America (A4A), which includes companies like Delta, United and Continental, filed a complaint on Friday.

In a statement, the group called the tax “a short-sighted cash-grab that will do more harm to the German economy than any short-term benefit that the tax revenue may bring the country’s coffers.”

The challenge was filed at Hesse’s state fiscal court in Kassel, taking issue with the German Air Transport Tax which took effect last January and put airlines serving the US into the highest of three tax brackets.

Until recently A4A, whose members operate 90 percent of American passenger and cargo flights, accepted the tax under protest.

But in a statement released on Friday, it said the decision was taken to make a challenge after legal advice suggested the tax violated several long-standing international agreements, including the US-EU Open Skies Agreement.

A4A feel that passengers coming from the US to Germany already pay enough taxes, the statement said.

“Germany cannot arbitrarily close its budget gap on the backs of the U.S. airlines,” it said.

The organisation announced in the statement that they would be filing a detailed complaint with the German Fiscal Court within the next two months at the same time it urges a referral of the case to the German Federal Constitution Court.

Story continues below…

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

03:42 March 24, 2012 by mos101392
Typical german greed! Take whatever you can, when you can. We need to reciprocate and add a similar tax to all german aircraft landing and taking off from the USA. In addition, this information needs to be mentioned on all major American networks and social media. Maybe, after hearing about the tax, less Americans will visit Germany and not contribute their vacation dollars to the german economy!!!!
09:31 March 24, 2012 by vanGaal
@mos: if this is "typical German greed", then let's talk about the lately installed entrance fee to the U.S. that EVERY tourist has to pay (not just the ones who come by plane), let's talk about punitive tariffs for foreign tires (35%). I understand, that the tariffs are created for the protection of the U.S. car industry and therefore have a valid purpose (at least from an American point of view) - maybe you could try to understand that the intention for the airplane fees is to reduce CO2 (a valid purpose at least for a typical German soul).

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to defend this policy, but I'm trying to show that this is not typical German (which BTW sounds like a very racist comment) and that before you point with your finger at somebody else, you might want to look at your own mess!
10:20 March 24, 2012 by The-ex-pat
Any tax that is linked to the use of transport and the environment says one thing and one thing only. It says, people, as long as you can afford to pay, you can carry on doing the damage. That is the be all and end all. If any government around the world wanted to really make a difference and not just bolster the coffers they would do things about it however, that would only get them voted out at the next election. For example, who needs a 4X4 when they live in the town. In fact, who really needs a gas guzzling 4X4 at all out side of farmers, the emergency services and, maybe the odd vet or two. They seem to be a must have when you have to navigate around an abandoned shopping trolley in the local supermarket car park. Also the percentage that actually go off road, around 5%. A blanket ban on 4X4 ownership would be a good start, but can you ever see that happening. Of course not, so as long as you can pay, you can carry on damaging. This covers just about every form of transport to a degree.

4X4 was just an example that came to mind and the truth of the matter is, I live in a town and at this time am looking for an BMW X5 to replace my 530 Tourer...........I can ironically afford the tax..............

As for the aviation question, I am a licensed aircraft engineer and I do not want to be looking for another job thank you very much......................................
12:55 March 24, 2012 by ovalle3.14
"German greed". Right. I am a Latin American citizen. As such, I am forced to pay $130 to apply for a visa (obviously the payment does not mean in any way that it will actually obtain said document). This sort of payment does not exist for me to enter Germany. Yeah, blame the Germans.
15:30 March 24, 2012 by pelliot
No doubt mos101392 is an American, republican, voted for GW Bush twice and gets all of his information from Fox News.

To be fair, I might be wrong on the voting for GW Bush since voting requires the ability to read a ballot. Something that is likely much too complicated for mos101392.
17:18 March 24, 2012 by Navigator_B
"A4A feel that passengers coming from the US to Germany already pay enough taxes, the statement said."

One major component of air travel that they do not pay tax on in any way is aircraft fuel, which is exempt from tax under the 1944 Chicago convention. It would be better for governments to agree to scrap this exemption because a fuel tax would encourage more efficient aircraft, unlike the flat tax that is now being charged.
17:38 March 24, 2012 by rwk
This tax is rubbing salt in the wound for the abused traveler. Airport landing fees are ridiculously high, and passed on to the passenger. The airports are glorious monuments to civic pride, like the Cathedrals, and we need more functional, inexpensive facilities. The USA is insane with its Homeland Security fees and taxes, and Germany with its taxation of foreign feet upon its ground. This has little to do with the claimed ecological concerns. Travel to and within Germany is increasingly becoming a luxury enjoyed by the rich, with the cost of the trains rising, the destruction of the slower, less expensive lines serving small towns and the glorification of the ICE. I am not saying I want a Germany of Trabants, but rather one for the drivers of Opels and less attention to the BMWs of the world. But I guess Germany has to bail out its BMW-driving banks and blame it all on the Greeks.
14:37 March 25, 2012 by nemo999
I thought most Germany Banker either drove Black or Silver, sometimes White Audi, it use to be Mercedes.

PS we are now aim for the Spanish, it will just be a matter of time.
22:02 March 25, 2012 by Logic Guy
Well, this tax is just as stupid as the one the EU has imposed on foreign airlines.

It has already began to cause all, sorts of problems too, such as to deny European carriers landing rights, or the cancel and out-right decision not to purchase Airbus planes.

Human life is much easier for those with Spiritual Intelligence. People who are committed to the Non-emotional / Buddhist approach don't engage in the craziness that has plagued humanity since the start of time.

Imagine better things.
Today's headlines
Germany-denying beauty king fights cops with guns, teeth
Left: Adrian Ursache in his glam days as the 1998 Mr. Germany. Right: Police trying to evict him from his own 'country'. Photos: DPA.

Former Mr. Germany winner and founder of a group that denies the existence of Germany refused to be evicted, provoking a shootout - and bite-out - with police.

Politicians renew call to bring Snowden to Germany
Photo: GUARDIAN / GLENN GREENWALD / LAURA POITRAS.

Green and Die Linke (Left Party) politicians are asking that NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden be allowed into Germany for an ongoing investigation.

Merkel urged to address Turkmenistan rights record
Angela Merkel with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. Photo: DPA

Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to bring up major rights violations, including a "policy of disappearances", when Germany hosts the president of Turkmenistan next week.

Epic father-daughter comedy picked for Oscars success
A scene from film Toni Erdmann. Photo: DPA

German Films has chosen Toni Erdmann, a beefy comedy about a father's struggle to save his daughter from her isolating career, as its 2017 Oscars choice.

Germany mulls pullout from Turkish airbase: report
A German Tornado jet at the Incirlik base in Turkey. Photo: Bundeswehr/DPA.

Germany's military is preparing to pull out from a Turkish airbase as a row between the two NATO partners escalates, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Thursday.

German man arrested over Bali meth lab
Bali. Photo: DPA

A German man has been arrested on Indonesia's Bali island for allegedly making crystal methamphetamine in a secret lab, officials said Thursday, with authorities seizing bags of powders and bottles used to produce the drug.

Giant 2-metre catfish attacks woman in Bavarian lake
A wels catfish. Photo: DPA

When a young woman went for a swim in an idyllic south Bavarian region, she got more than she bargained for.

Mayor fires refugee project intern for wearing headscarf
File photo: DPA.

A Palestinian who was hired to work as an intern on a refugee project was fired by a town hall this week because she wouldn't take off her headscarf.

President who pioneered Moscow ties dies aged 97
Former Cold War President of West Germany Walter Scheel. Photo: DPA.

Former West German president Walter Scheel, who helped pave the way for his country's rapprochement with the communist East, has died aged 97, his party's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Former East to lag behind West for years to come: study
Poverty in eastern Germany. File photo: DPA

Eastern Germany remains economically anaemic with little prospect of catching up with the rest of the country by 2030, a study published on Wednesday said.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,576
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd