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19 December 2012
On November 23 2012 the federal state of Bavaria brought forward a motion aiming to abolish the Air Traffic Tax Act before the end of the current legislative period (Autumn 2013).
In its motion, Bavaria referred to a study carried out by INFRAS, an independent Swiss consulting group providing policy analysis and implementation services. The Federal Ministry of Finance launched the study in order to assess the effects of the Air Traffic Tax on the aviation sector in Germany. The study, published on September 11 2012:
According to the study, passenger volume on national routes will decline by 1.7%. This constitutes an enormous burden for the airline industry, as well as for smaller airports that serve mostly national routes. Moreover, due to the tax, low-cost carriers have significantly reduced their range of destinations. The study detected a reduction of at least 2 million passengers for 2011. The Federal Association of the German Air Traffic Industry found that the effects caused by the tax were even more detrimental. According to the association's assessment, passenger volume in Germany declined by 5 million in 2011, and these harmful effects continued throughout 2012. Passengers changed their travelling behaviour and passenger numbers declined noticeably.
The motion launched by Bavaria was supported by the federal states of Saxony, Lower Saxony and Hesse, and was finally approved by the Federal Council. As a result of the Federal Council's decision, the government has been requested to initiate a legislative procedure regarding the abolishment of the Air Traffic Tax Act within the current legislative period.
The air traffic tax causes sustainable weakening of the German aviation sector. Although the tax reduction, which took place in October 2011, was a step in the right direction, it failed to reflect a number of essential facts. It is hoped that the government will take this opportunity to level out the playing field.
The Federal Council's decision seems to be a silver lining: it shows that the topic is now being discussed on a political scale and is likely to become an election campaign issue.
For further information on this topic please contact Katja Helen Brecke at Arnecke Siebold Rechtsanwälte by telephone (+49 69 97 98 85 0), fax (+49 69 97 98 85 85) or email (email@example.com).
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