Germany considers doubling air travel tax

Germany’s Christian Democrats (CDU), the party formerly led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, along with the Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) have proposed doubling taxes on domestic flights. The proposal makes up part of an effort to reduce CO2 emissions and encourage low-carbon technology. The tax increase proposal comes at a time when air travel is becoming more and more popular, despite being one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gasses. The tax could affect the market for domestic German flights, though the Government hopes that this will increase the pace of low and zero emission aviation technology development in the country.

Currently, taxes on domestic flights in Germany are €7.38 (£6.5). Doubling this figure will bring the tax to €14.76 (£13). Connecting flights that are part of a longer journey abroad will be exempt from the tax increase, and flights with engines that are not powered by fossil fuels will be exempt from any aviation tax. The first zero-emission plane engines are currently under development, following a partnership between Rolls Royce and Widerøe, reported on here. The successful completion of such an engine is yet to be achieved, but air travel taxes like these could accelerate investment and development.

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