CO2 QUOTE Closing from Cierre del 28-05-2024 72,80 €/T

Airlines revolt against the new air tax

The Government’s plan to apply a new aviation tax from 2022 has soliviantado airlines operating in Spain. The proposal is included in the documents sent to Brussels to prepare for the arrival of reconstruction funds, and aims to offset polluting emissions from the sector through a fee increase. A measure that had already been taken to public consultation at the beginning of last year but that was parked with the outbreak of the pandemic.

Now the government recovers it, but its coincidence with the biggest crisis in history in the airline industry has raised strong criticism from the companies. “A possible tax on commercial aviation will have a marginal effect on reducing emissions and devastating for tourism, employment and connectivity at a time when the industry is fighting for its survival,” says Javier Gándara, president of ALA, the association that brings together the majority of airlines that fly in Spain.

Minister Teresa Ribera stresses that “European aid is not a fund for large companies”

Gándara questions the impact of the measure. In case it were specified through a fuel tax, one of the possibilities, it would only be applied “on domestic flights, since international flights are governed by multilateral agreements”. These internal flights represent in Spain “just over 10% of total emissions and many of them are essential, because they give connectivity” between the Peninsula and the Balearic and Canary Islands.

“More than detracting resources from the industry via taxes, we must invest towards a more sustainable aviation with alternatives to kerosene such as electricity or hydrogen, scale up the production of biofuels and develop infrastructures so that aviation emits less,” he insists. The European Commission is also preparing actions in this regard and plans to force airlines flying in the EU to use a minimum percentage of biofuels to reduce pollution. According to the airline association, structural measures such as the implementation of the single European sky could save “six times more emissions in commercial aviation than if all domestic flights within our country were banned.”

In any case, from the Government insist that the concretion of the new tax is not yet decided as its date of entry into force, apart from the fact that it would be beyond 2022. The Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, said yesterday that “the decision will be taken from next year because there is also debate in Europe.”

Ribera stressed that of the 70,000 million that will be mobilized between 2021 and 2023, 40.29% of the investments will be to contribute to climate change. His Ministry will directly manage 15,339 million, almost 22% of the plan. In addition, he stressed that there will be a lot of collaboration with the autonomous communities and municipalities. The fourth vice-president wanted to send two clear messages. The first is that “European aid is not a fund for large companies, but to benefit everyone”. And the second is that not all proposals will be covered. For example, for green hydrogen there have been expressions of interest for 10,000 million and European funds collect 1,555 million for this new technology.

Source: The Vanguard