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New flight tax pushing passengers to airports abroad

The Local · 21 Mar 2011, 08:36

Published: 21 Mar 2011 08:17 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Mar 2011 08:36 GMT+01:00

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According to an unnamed Finance Ministry source, revenue from the tax from the beginning of January to the end of February garnered some €59.1 million, business daily Handelsblatt reported.

But Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble had previously said he expected the tax, part of an austerity plan passed last autumn, to add €1 billion per year to government coffers – or some €83.3 million each month, well below current levels.

Airlines told Handelsblatt they doubted the tax would be successful, because many passengers seem to be turning to airports just across German borders.

Since January 1, airline tickets have been more expensive in Germany thanks to the tax, which adds some €8 to short-haul flights, €25 for mid-length trips and €45 on long-haul routes.

The Finance Ministry said in a report released Monday that the flagging flight tax situation could improve once the summer travel season begins. An official assessment of the tax is scheduled for June 30.

Meanwhile revenues in other areas have shown a significant improvement, with an increase of some 9.7 percent in February compared to last year, the ministry reported.

Last December low-cost Irish airline Ryanair said it would make further cuts to its services in Germany due to the new levy. Their plans included reducing capacity in the German capital by 56 percent, scrapping flights to four cities from the Berlin-Schönefeld airport from mid-2011.

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Overall capacity in Germany is expected to fall by three million passengers per year and could lead to the elimination of 3,000 jobs, the carrier said.

The Local/DPA/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:37 March 21, 2011 by catjones
German solution? Either raise the tax to cover the loss or gentrify the German airports and make them more attractive to tourists.
10:12 March 21, 2011 by pepsionice
Hmmmm....sounds like the cigarette tax episode from three years ago. Remember how that was going to make lots of money, and then the smokers went off to buy their cartons somewhere else? Germans aren't stupid. I would anticipate this continuing and the German tax folks need to settle for less. Oh, and the best part? Your neighbors are making lots of money off this deal.
10:32 March 21, 2011 by rugbycoach
The most stupid tax ever and if you count the lost business and tourist trade there will be an almighty loss....
14:52 March 21, 2011 by berfel
"Austerity" for the government means more austerity on the part of the Bürger as the latter have to cough up more money in taxes.
16:15 March 21, 2011 by Wobinidan
"But Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble had previously said he expected the tax, part of an austerity plan passed last autumn, to add €1 billion per year to government coffers ­ or some €83.3 million each month, well below current levels."

I think you mean much more than current levels. Also, taxing people out of the country is a really stupid idea.
18:52 March 21, 2011 by xx.weirich.xx
Bahaha. Smart move.

Let's raise gas prices too, and that'll be sure to bring in more money for everybody too...

...Until people decide to switch fuels or walk.
17:55 March 23, 2011 by nolibs
We can thank The Greens party for this tax (among others). It was their bright idea to slap a tax on airfare in order to reduce CO2 emissions. In reality it is simply to take more money out of your pocket.

Of course the answer from one of the Greens fanbois is..."If you want cheaper [airfare] prices, don't [fly]. If you can't afford it don't [fly]".

Glad to see that the German public is telling them where they can stick their new tax.
23:47 March 23, 2011 by Logic Guy
Well, to add what comes to about $60 dollars, to an already expensive overseas ticket, is quite crazy. You simply can't tax your typical coach travelers like this.

Although I would like to visit Germany later this year, however, perhaps I will now fly right over it, and land in Switzerland instead. There goes tourist dollars!

I agree with the fact that the German government, and the nation as a whole, is going to lose much more than they take in from this tax. I expect Germans to be more intelligent than this.
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