It is still very unclear how the government can earn 30 million euros annually from the ‘boarding tax’, which must be paid from next year for flights of less than 500 km. That says aviation expert Luk De Wilde.
“Figures show that there are about 600,000 of these flights from our country annually to airports such as London, Paris, Frankfurt and Schiphol.” Since a tax of about 5 to 7 euros is envisaged, “this would only yield about 4.2 million euros per year at the most.” And that’s a long way from the government’s estimated annual revenue of 30 million euros.
An important point of discussion is also whether this tax will also apply to transfer passengers. Think of Belgian travelers who, for a trip to South Africa, for example, are first flown by the airline from Brussels to Frankfurt, in order to take a connecting flight to South Africa there. The Netherlands – where a flight tax of about 8 euros has been in place since 1 January – exempts transfer passengers from this.
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“But if we exempt transfer passengers in Belgium, the proceeds from the boarding tax would be minimal. After all, the vast majority of the 600,000 flights to airports less than 500 km away concern such transfer passengers,” said De Wilde.
Competent Minister of Finance Vincent Van Peteghem (CD&V) was unable to provide further details on Wednesday about the rules regarding the boarding tax. “Further discussions are now starting on this,” said his spokesman, who emphasizes that all our neighboring countries levy a similar tax. The Belgian aviation world – including Brussels Airlines and also the coordinating Belgian Air Transport Association (BATA) – has already reacted with concern about the possible competitive disadvantage of a Belgian boarding tax.
For airline passengers, this tax will be anything but the last tax that will be imposed on them. In principle, under the impulse of Europe, there will also be a kerosene tax from 2023. (who)