IATA Criticizes Germany’s Hike in Air Passenger Tax

Frankfurt International Airport

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) criticized Germany’s increase in air passenger tax, stating it “weakens the economy and hinders decarbonization efforts.”

From May 1, Germany’s air passenger tax was raised by 19%, changing the tax amount from 15.33 euros to 70.83 euros depending on the route. Germany’s international passenger numbers continue to be 20% lower than pre-COVID levels, making it the slowest to recover within the European Union (EU).

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, strongly condemned the move: “It is madness politically to weaken competitiveness through increased taxation on aviation during tough economic times for Germany. The government should prioritize measures that enhance Germany’s competitiveness and promote trade and travel instead. Rather, they opted for a short-term cash grab that only damages long-term economic growth.”

The weakening of the aviation sector makes the introduction of fuel-efficient aircraft and investment in decarbonization efforts more challenging. The initial promise to allocate revenue from the air tax directly to the settlement of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) was broken. According to IATA, 75% responded that “taxation is not the way to make aviation sustainable” when queried about government green tax schemes.

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