[Belgian aviation tax] Passengers might have to pay (a lot) more than the suggested €4 – €6 per flight

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© Dominique Deduytschaver

On Monday, the Belgian government approved the annual budget. One of the decisions was to introduce an aviation tax (boarding tax) for flights under 500 kilometres. Originally it was expected that each passenger would have to pay between €4 and €6, but according to our calculations, this is not correct.

The government’s intention was to collect up to €30 million annually from this tax.

After consulting the official figures on the Brussels Airport website, Aviation24.be discovered that, in 2019 (hence before the coronavirus pandemic), 1,300,000 passengers boarded from Brussels Airport to 10 destinations (*) under 500 km reach or vice versa.

If the Belgian government wants to raise €30 million, each passenger would have to pay up to €23 per flight. If the government exempts this tax for the 840,000 transit passengers, the aviation tax will amount to € 66.66 per passenger (***).

For comparison, The Netherlands apply a tax of €7.45 to all air tickets, except for transit passengers in Amsterdam Schiphol.

(*) Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Paris & Strasbourg (France), London Heathrow & Birmingham (United Kingdom), Frankfurt, Stuttgart & Hamburg (Germany), Basel & Zurich (Switzerland).

(**) The calculation does not take into account destinations from other Belgian airports, but according to our information, those other airports do not have short flights in their schedule.

(***) €30 million divided by 1,300,000 passengers / divided by 450,000 passengers

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