Development Aid Proposals: Air Transport Still on the Radar Screen

 

 

AEA expresses disappointment on the failure by the European Finance Ministers at their meeting in Luxembourg to acknowledge once and for all that a tax on air tickets is the wrong solution to a very important issue.

“The need for funds to be raised for humanitarian purposes, to relieve poverty in Africa in particular, is not disputed. What the airlines are concerned about is the suggestion that air travellers should be singled out to be the one source for this income”, said Secretary General, Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus. He further commented that airlines play an invaluable role in supporting the economies of the very countries this tax is intended to assist by enabling the development of tourism.

The paper before the Council Meeting for discussion yesterday suggested that a ticket contribution would not require renegotiation of international agreements and would be relatively simple to implement. It left the question of whether contributions are to be mandatory or voluntary for decision by Member States individually. The concerns of the industry were seemingly not addressed with regard to distortion of competition, both within Europe and internationally, and the practicalities of collecting contributions, the level and nature of which remain unclear.

 

For further information, please contact:

David Henderson, Manager Information (+32 2) 639 89 72

Brussels, 09 June 2005