France to introduce eco-tax of upto €18 per ticket on flights leaving the country from 2020

France will introduce a new charge on plane tickets from next year, with revenue used to fund environment-friendly alternatives, informs the country’s transport minister- Elisabeth Borne. She says, “The “ecotax” costing between 1.50 euros ($1.7) and 18 euros ($20) will apply to most flights departing from France.” The only exceptions will be for domestic flights to Corsica and France’s overseas territories, and connecting flights that pass through France. It will not apply to flights arriving in France. Air France has strongly disapproved of this announcement. According to a recent statement by Air France- “This new tax would significantly penalise Air France’s competitiveness, at a time where the company needs to strengthen its investment capacity to more rapidly reduce its environmental footprint, notably as part of its fleet renewal policy. This measure would be extremely penalising for Air France, of which 50% of its flights are operated out of France, and notably for its domestic network, where losses amounted to above 180 million euros in 2018. In addition, last month, the government had ruled out taxation at national level due to the unfair competition that this would cause.”

The statement further reads- “The government’s decision is all the more incomprehensible as this new air transport tax would reportedly finance competitive modes of transport including road transportation and not the energy transition in the air transport sector. Such a transition could have been facilitated by supporting the implementation of sustainable biofuel industries or disruptive innovations.

The Air France group is committed alongside all the industry players to reducing its CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050, in accordance with the Paris climate agreement objectives. Air France has been contributing to the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) since 2012, and will contribute to the CORSIA scheme for international flights as from 2021, representing already 200 million euros per year for the Air France-KLM group by 2025.”