On the 9th of March Gerd Pontius was moderating the panel discussion:“ Taxes, Charges and EU Emission Trading Scheme: Steering Effect or Burden on European Economics?“ at the ITB in Berlin.
Panel guests were Dr. Dieter Nirschl, CEO from Tuifly, Klaus-Peter Siegloch president of the BDL, Hartmut Spickermann Deputy Director General, Civil Aviation and Aerospace (Federal Ministry of Transport) and Claus-Dieter Wehr Managing Director of Hamburg Airport.
The discussion was build up on the following statement: „Airlines in Europe are being increasingly subjected to state-imposed taxes and levies. In the wake of Germany’s air travel levy the EU Emissions Trading Scheme has followed in early 2012. As things stand, it is not unlikely that this will affect the ability of European airlines to compete in the global market. Will the burdens imposed on air travel lead to Germany and other industrial nations no longer being able to compete? What solutions do politicians and the air travel industry have to offer?“
It was very interesting to see, that every party joining this discussion was quiet concerned about the introduction of EU ETS and the increasing risk of a trade war. Even the German politician Hartmut Spickermann said: „The talks with the EU Commission are not over! At present over 25 countries signed a resolution against EU ETS and it was mailed to the EU Commission. Apart from the exploding fuel prices and higher taxes in Europe the EU-ETS gives another reason for concern and leads to serious questions whether and how European airlines can ever return to profitability.
The panel guests also discussed the Air Transportation Tax:
Considering special effects such as volcanic ash in April 2010 and the very hard winter in December 2010, passenger numbers in 2011 grew only very little compared to other major European countries such as Italy, Spain and Portugal. Especially when considering the relatively high GDP growth in Germany compared to other European countries.