Aviation Tax Press Release

The Netherlands, together with 8 other countries, is calling for a European aviation tax.

Compared with other forms of transportation, flying is currently undertaxed and underpriced, even though air travel is the source of around 2.5% of global CO2 emissions. That is why the Netherlands, together with 8 other EU countries, is calling on the new European Commission to come up with a proposal for some form of aviation tax.

In their joint statement , Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark and Bulgaria assert together with the Netherlands that CO2 emissions and other negative effects of flying are not adequately accounted for in the price of plane tickets. The countries are asking for an EU approach, to ensure a level playing field and minimise potential for disputes concerning unfair competition. The statement was received by European Commissioner Frans Timmermans.

‘It’s not just the Netherlands, but a large group of European countries that think it’s unacceptable that air travel is not taxed at all, unlike travel by car, bus and train,’ explains State Secretary for Finance Menno Snel. ‘By taking action now, we hope this important issue will take off in Europe too.’

The Netherlands is one of Europe’s biggest proponents of compensating for the negative impact of flying through better pricing measures. In June, we hosted a two-day international conference, where the first steps were taken toward European agreements on the matter. A paper was also published, laying out various options on how to price flights, which could potentially be used by the European Commission.

If no EU agreement is reached by the end of 2020, the Netherlands will impose its own national flight tax. A bill has already been submitted to the House of Representatives, where it will be debated before the end of the year.