Asked this Thursday on RTL about the probable increase in air tickets due to the new tax announced the day before by the government on major airports, the director general of Air France replied that "in the coming months, probably not", but that "in the years to come, with the environmental transition and the ambition of decarbonization, You will actually have to pay a little more for your plane tickets."
I believe that there has been inflation in all sectors that has already marked airline tickets, even if we try to contain our costs, "she explained, ensuring that her group did not decide alone to increase its prices. "On a Paris-New York, you have dozens of companies that operate, we do not decide alone to increase our prices, it is the whole sector that decides," she said, evoking "a guarantee for the consumer".
However, the CEO of Air France stressed that decarbonization was a "priority". "It's crucial, existential for us," she said, adding that it came at a cost. "We have maintained the course of renewal of our fleet despite Covid (...) first lever of decarbonization," she said, the day after the announcement of the order for 50 Airbus A350 for Air France-KLM. According to her, the new aircraft produce "25% less CO2", and consume "25% less fuel oil" while ensuring a "better standard".
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"This is not good news at all"
However, Anne Rigail did not hide that this new tax was "not at all good news", insofar as the airports concerned would necessarily "dump these additional costs on the airlines". "We pay 3 billion euros a year in taxes and royalties," she defended. For her, this new taxation provided for in the draft budget 2024 to finance the ecological transition will thus induce "a new distortion of competition" that will "harm" French airlines.
What we have a problem with in this bill is that only the big airports will be concerned, (...) on which Air France but also all French companies operate for the most part, whereas an airport like Beauvais, on which foreign low-cost airlines operate, will not be concerned because it does not have the level of activity or turnover.", she said, clearly referring to the Irish company Ryanair, very present in the Oise.
Except that "buying new planes, or investing in fuel, it's expensive," according to her, for whom it is "logical that French companies do not pay most of the French taxes". "When we look at traffic levels over the past 15 years, the weight of French companies is declining from year to year. For us, this leads to a new distortion of competition that will hurt us," she concluded.