While the solidarity tax on plane tickets must be increased as part of the 2024 budget, the FNAM is calling for the outright abandonment of the new tax project on airport concessions.
While assurances had been given before the summer to the French air transport sector regarding stability in regulatory and fiscal terms, the government has just announced its intention to create a new tax on airport concessions, in the wake of a tax which would weigh on motorway concessions, and which could ultimately further increase an already heavy bill for airlines and their passengers.
“Needless to tell you that we are firmly opposed to this tax which has not been the subject of any consultation and which we learned about through the press,” protested Pascal de Izaguirre, president of the FNAM. (National Federation of Aviation and its Professions) during an interview on BFM Business. It is “in addition to the project to increase the solidarity tax on plane tickets” which should be presented in the 2024 budget.
A solidarity tax intended to help developing countries originally
For the record, the solidarity tax, also nicknamed the “Chirac tax”, was introduced in France in 2006 and is applied to all flights departing from France. It was initially in the amount of 1 euro in economy class and 10 euros in business class and first class (on flights to France, the European Union, the countries of the European Economic Area and Switzerland) and an amount of 4 euros in economy class and 40 euros in business class and first class (for flights to other countries). Originally, its proceeds were allocated to the Solidarity Fund for Development within the limit of a ceiling set at 210 million euros. It was reassessed for the first time in 2014 and from 2016, its balance was annexed to the air control and operations annex budget (BACEA) of the DGAC (General Directorate of Civil Aviation).
The eco-tax changes the nature of the solidarity tax
From 2019, the solidarity tax changes in nature. On October 17, 2019, the National Assembly adopted at first reading, as part of the 2020 finance bill, a provision establishing an eco-contribution on plane tickets increasing the solidarity tax on plane tickets . As of January 1, 2020, the solidarity tax/eco-tax is set at 2.63 euros in economy class and 20.27 euros in business class and first class (on flights to France, the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland) and 7.51 euros in economy class and 63.07 euros in business class and first class (for flights to other countries). It brings in around 230 million euros per year and the government, with the new increase planned for 2024, would like to increase its total product to 300 million euros.
“Air transport already bears a lot of taxes and fees,” recalled Pascal de Izaguirre on BFM Business. The FNAM therefore requests that “the project of additional taxation of airport concessions, having not been the subject of any consultation, be abandoned”.