Ultimately, the government abandoned the idea of a tax on airline tickets. It is the major airports that will be called upon to finance rail transport through a new tax planned in the 2024 budget. The tax, which also targets road companies, is expected to generate €600 million a year from next year.
The Aéroports de Paris group plans to gradually “shift” most of this tax to the airlines. “This is not good news at all” for Air France, its CEO stressed on Thursday morning on RTL. “The company pays three billion euros a year in taxes and royalties,” recalls Anne Rigail. “When we hear that air transport is not taxed, this is not reality. »
“What creates a problem for us in this bill is that it will only deal with large airports (…) in which Air France mainly operates, as well as all French companies, while an airport like Beauvais, in which foreign low-cost airlines will not be concerned because it does not have the same level of activity or turnover,” she explains, without naming the Irish company Ryanair, which has a permanent presence on Oise’s website.
Moreover, the weight of French companies has been decreasing from year to year for 15 years. “For us, this creates a new distortion of competition that will harm us. »
On Sunday, Jean-Marc Iancovici, an energy and climate specialist, repeated his proposal to force the French to take only four plane trips in their lifetime. Answering a question on this matter, Anne Rigail believes that these considerations are “limited by the borders of France”: “We are participating in global competition. We see the growth of air travel, which today is happening not in Europe, but in India, China, and Africa. The topic must be covered by a global vision. »
Moreover, the CEO of Air France would prefer that this new tax be used to finance the decarbonization of the aviation sector rather than the development of rail transport. “Our credo is to set the tone for how we decarbonize air transport, much of which is emitted outside France. » Air France aims to reduce CO² emissions by 30% between 2019 and 2030.
According to the bill, the tax applies only to companies with operating income exceeding 120 million euros and an average profitability over recent years of 10%.