Holidays in France to become more expensive due to airline taxes

Flying to France will soon be more expensive as the country’s government raises taxes on airline tickets. France’s Transport Minister Clément Beaune announced this week that the move is an attempt to make train travel more appealing, closing the gap between air and rail fares.

Beaune told French broadcaster RMC: “Many people are shocked by the fact that it’s often cheaper to take a flight than a train.” It comes as a Greenpeace report said last month that taking a train is on average double the cost of flying.

The report compared the costs of flights and train tickets on 112 routes in Europe, including 94 cross-border connections. The environmental group found that they are almost always cheaper by plane.

A major reason behind why plane travel is often cheaper is due to tax breaks given to the aviation industry, which do not apply to the railways. For instance, a plane journey from Paris to Barcelona is subject to no VAT and is exempt for a fuel tax. However, by rail, both are applied.

Euronews report Jo Dardenne, the aviation director at the clean transport campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E), said: “In a climate crisis, giving tax exemptions to a super polluting sector is incompatible with the challenges of today.”

Dardenne’s group estimates that had the aviation industry’s tax exemptions been removed in 2022, it would have raised €34.2 billion in tax. The French government’s move is designed to improve the country’s rail network and make rail travel more attractive.

The move will likely be implemented in the French government’s 2024 budget, so expect it to be reflected in ticket prices. It comes as France bans domestic flights which can be done by rail.

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The change primarily covers air travel between Paris and regional hubs like Nantes, Lyon, and Bordeaux, while connecting flights remain unaffected by the new rules. However, as it takes around three hours to travel from Paris to Marseille by high-speed rail – this route will not be impacted.

France already has the second largest high-speed rail network in all of Europe, behind Spain, and the move to limit flights has been praised by environmental groups. The UK lags behind much of Europe when it comes to its rail network, as ticket prices continue to rise.

Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/649427234/wjCFh58a8gTXE0varef=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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