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France launches airline ticket tax

2nd March, 2006

France is launching an airline ticket tax. Jacques Chirac is hoping for support from other countries, but the UK has given symbolic rather substantiative support.

Chirac hoping for support from other countriesFrom 1 July, airline passengers flying out of France will be charged an airline ticket tax ranging from 1 euro (78p) for economy tickets within Europe to as much as 40 euros (£27.20) for first-class transcontinental flights.

The money will be used to fund medical aid and the French government is hoping to raise as much as 200m euros (£136m) from the new tariff.

At the same time French president Jacques Chirac is expecting support from as many as 10 countries for international tax on airline tickets during a development conference that opens in Paris this week.

The plan is opposed by airlines and some countries that are dependent on tourism.

The UK has given symbolic rather substantiative support to the French plans by re-labelling part of the revenue from an existing air travel tax as dedicated to development aid, while Germany has said it is undecided on whether to pledge to introduce a ticket tax, the FT reported.

AEF note: Foriegn aid for 05/06 is £4.9 billion, tax exemptions for aviation are £9 billion pa and the present Air Passenger Duty is worth about £900 million.