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ACI EUROPE Urges Denmark To Reconsider Passenger Tax

ACI EUROPE, representing European Airports, urges the Danish Government not to tax departing passengers from Danish airports.

Copenhagen Airport Denmark

The Danish government announced a new progressive tax on air travel last week. Starting from 2025, passengers would pay a variable tax on flights departing from airports in Denmark. The initial tax rate will be 70 kroner (around $11) per passenger per flight for three years. Then, gradually, it would increase to 85 kroner by 2030, and from there to 100 kroner.

The tax amount will vary based on the flight’s destination. Flights within Europe would incur 60 kroner in taxes per flight in 2030. Medium-haul flights may be subject to a tax of 240 kroner. Long-haul flights could incur a tax of up to 390 kroner.

The government projects that implementing this travel tax will generate 1.2 billion kroner in revenue for the Danish state in 2030. The tax will fund initiatives promoting green transitions in the aviation industry. It will also fund welfare benefits for older individuals in Denmark. The government plans to review and reassess the tax in 2027 to ensure its effectiveness.

A Negative Impact On Danish Airports

ACI EUROPE argues that a new tax on Danish aviation will hurt the competitive position of Danish airports. The airport critiques the tax, saying only a small portion will fund aviation sustainability. The tax will primarily fund the welfare system. This, in turn, could hinder Danish airports’ ability to finance their decarbonization plans. Danish airports, including Aarhus, Billund, Copenhagen, and Roskilde, lead the way in the industry’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. They have set a goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE, said: “This proposed tax is truly ill-advised and essentially amounts to political greenwashing more than anything else. Rather than helping airports and aviation to decarbonize, it will have the opposite effect by diverting much-needed financial resources away from the sector. The EU has already put in place through the Fit for 55 package, an ambitious regulatory framework to decarbonize its aviation sector. It tightening its Emission Trading Scheme and mandates for deploying Sustainable Aviation Fuels. Along with other measures, this will require additional investments from the whole aviation ecosystem to the tune of €820 billion by 2050. So clearly, new taxes are the very last thing we need. If anything, more financial support is what is required.”

He added: “This tax will also risk hurting the connectivity of Denmark and its economy. Denmark’s air connectivity this year remains -10% below where it was before the COVID-19 stuck, so clearly adding costs to air travel is not going to facilitate further progress in fully recovering and further developing that connectivity.”

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