Ryanair joins Easyjet in criticizing the new two-euro fee per passenger | OE 2021

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After Easyjet, now it is time for Ryanair to protest against the new fee that will be applied in Portugal to international flights (as well as to ships such as cruise ships, symbols of mass tourism), in the amount of two euros per passenger, as stipulated in the State Budget document for 2021 after approval of a PAN proposal.

For Ryanair, this is a measure that must be eliminated, in order to protect, he says, “the Portuguese regions that depend heavily on tourism and aerial connectivity for job recovery”. Ecological taxes, defends this airline that bets on low fares, “have no effect in reducing CO2 emissions, are regressive and harm competition”.

“It is ridiculous”, underlines the company in a statement, “that during the worst crisis the industry has ever faced, the Portuguese government is imposing more barriers to its recovery instead of applying measures to stimulate capacity growth and demand for passengers ”.

Ryanair also says that, as it recovers from the effects of the pandemic through a commitment to cost reduction measures, it will transfer capacity to countries “that are working to recover traffic”.

On the eve of the approval of the PAN initiative, which happened this Wednesday, Easyjet also had already expressed its disagreement with the measure. Through a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, the British company considered that an ecotax such as the one that will now be applied “not only exposes the industry to more financial difficulties in the midst of the current covid-19 crisis, but also does not give the necessary answer to environmental challenges ”. “We do not believe,” says the company, “that the imposition of a new tax on the sector will reduce the environmental impact of the sector, while simultaneously harming the recovery of the national economy”.

In addition to arguing that this type of tax “is not the right approach”, as “it does not offer incentives for airlines or passengers to improve carbon efficiency on their flights”, Easyjet points out that such a fee, if any, should be “directly linked to CO2 and charged per flight and not per passenger, recognizing that fuller flights are actually more efficient”. In addition, he says, the revenue collected should also be channeled towards investments to decarbonize aviation. Likewise, the carrier criticizes the lack of debate about the rate, and that in a global sector, “national measures without possible harmonization” should be avoided.

The PUBLIC also questioned TAP’s position, which will be at the top of the affected airlines, at a time when it is undergoing a restructuring plan, but the company did not respond.

According to the proposal that was favorably voted by BE and PS, next year there will be a carbon tax “for the consumer of air, sea and river trips, in the amount of two euros per passenger” that leaves or arrives in Portugal . Children are left out until the age of two, as well as air travel between cities in the national territory and public passenger transport in the scope of maritime and river transport.

The year 2021 will certainly have fewer international passengers than 2019, the year in which a new record was set at national airports, but if this rate had been applied last year, it would have generated something like 103.7 million euros (of the which 100.9 million via air tickets), according to PUBLIC calculations based on data from INE and the civil aviation regulator, ANAC. In the coming year, however, not only will the number of tickets be substantially lower, but the measure will not take effect immediately on the 1st of January.

The Government, in this case the Ministry of Infrastructure (responsible for the aviation area), has to prepare and approve the respective regulations, something that, according to the approved proposal, must be done within 30 days.

As for the destination of the revenues, it was decided that they will revert to the Environmental Fund (this without prejudice to “the right to a contribution from the entities that participate in the collection of the fee”), which in turn will refer them “to actions of financing in the railway area and in the reduction of CO2 emissions from public transport, namely, in the application of public policies to support electric mobility ”.





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