Eventually, the government abandoned the idea of a tax on airline tickets. It is the large airports that will be used to finance rail transport, through a new tax provided for in the 2024 budget. This tax, which also targets motorway companies, is expected to bring in 600 million euros per year from next year.
The Aéroports de Paris group plans to gradually "pass on" the majority of this tax to airlines. "This is not at all good news" for Air France, said Thursday morning on RTL its director-general. "The company pays three billion euros a year in taxes, taxes and royalties," says Rigail. "When you hear that air travel is not taxed, it's not a reality."
"What we have a problem with this bill is that only the big airports will be affected, (...) on which Air France but also all French companies operate mainly while an airport like Beauvais, on which the foreign low cost operates, will not be concerned because it does not have the level of activity or turnover, "she explains, without naming the Irish company Ryanair, very present on the site of the Oise.
"It's going to hurt us"
Especially since the weight of French companies has already been declining from year to year, for 15 years. "For us, this leads to a new distortion of competition that will hurt us."
Tax on major airports: Air France denounces a "distortion of competition" for French companies#RTLMatin pic.twitter.com/ht17dn31pE
— RTL France (@RTLFrance) September 28, 2023
On Sunday, Jean-Marc Jancovici, an energy and climate specialist, reiterated his proposal to force the French to make only four plane trips in a lifetime. Asked about this, Anne Rigail believes that this reasoning "is limited to the borders of France": "We are in a global competition. We see the growth of air transport that is not happening today in Europe, but in India, China and Africa. The subject must be encompassed with a global vision. »
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In addition, the CEO of Air France would have preferred that this new tax be used to finance the decarbonization of the aviation sector, rather than to develop rail. "Our credo is to set the tone on how to decarbonize air transport, most of which is emitted outside the France." Air France aims to reduce its CO² emissions by 30% between 2019 and 2030.
According to the draft law, the tax is limited to companies whose operating income exceeds 120 million euros and the average profitability of recent years 10%.