The government is considering taxing the most expensive airline tickets. After the "superprofits" of motorway concessionaires or the fuel of private jets, it is a new track that the executive is digging to finance the plan to 100 billion euros to renovate the SNCF network and announced by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne at the end of February. "The ecological transition and the modal shift from the plane to the train must also go through this kind of device, explains the entourage of Clément Beaune, Minister of Transport, quoted by Le Parisien. A priori, a person who already pays a lot of money for his ticket is less sensitive to price."
The tax, which will concern a priori first class and business tickets, should appear in the draft finance law, debated next autumn in the National Assembly and bring in about "a hundred million euros over the period 2023-2027", according to the Ministry of Transport. For comparison, the government hopes to recover "several billions" from the tax on superprofits from highway concessionaires. On the side of Air France, which has just published a negative net result of 344 million euros in the 1st quarter of 2023, it is stressed that the France is "the country that already taxes airlines the most". The airline is demanding that the funds raised be used "to decarbonise the sector" and warns the government that, if not, "we will fall far behind in our decarbonisation target.»
As a reminder, in 2020, carriers had already suffered an increase in the solidarity tax on airline tickets, known as the "Chirac tax", created in 2005 during the second term of the former President of the Republic. At the time, this ecotax had risen from 9 to 18 euros for the same business class tickets and from 1.5 to 3 euros for economy class flights and was expected to bring in some 182 million euros per year.