Austrian Airlines has started a campaign against air ticket taxes in Austria after a poll found opposition to the fees amongst residents.
Around 58% of 1,000 Austrians interviewed by GfK said the tax should be scrapped, while 9% wanted to keep it. Airlines in the country are concerned the fees, which charge EUR7, EUR15 and EUR35 for short, medium and long-haul routes respectively, are damaging passenger numbers and business to both Vienna airport and the country.
The tax was decreased on 1 January after Germany reduced its charges, but the carriers are calling for the fees to be abolished altogether.
A report by Oxford Economics estimated the abolishment of the tax would see another 1.1 million people fly to and from Austria, with its government currently reaping in EUR107m from the fees.
“The ticket tax impedes economic development in Austria. It costs more than it brings in revenue“, said Jaan Albrecht, CEO of Austrian Airlines. “It also damages Austria as a business location. As the biggest airline in the country we once again demand, strengthened by the clear support of the population, that this tax be abolished.”
Airlines in the UK are also lobbying against the UK government to abolish a similar air tax, known as Air Passenger Duty (APD). Several countries such as the Netherlands have already scrapped air taxes and seen increases since.