Germany has imposed aviation taxes from May 1, which will likely affect passengers travelling to that country. The tax ranges between €15.53 and €70.83 depending upon the route. This could affect many tourists and students travelling who want to return to India from Germany and those using Frankfurt as a transshipment hub to proceed to other destinations like the US. In the December quarter, 2.14 lakh passengers arrived from Germany to India, while 1.90 lakh travelled to Germany to India.

Passengers flying domestically or to other EU countries will now be charged a fee of 15,53 euros per ticket, up from 12,73 euros. For longer journeys exceeding 6,000 km - to the US or China - the fee will increase to 70,83 euros per ticket, the government said.

German new taxes hurt on public undertaking travel via German airports, said P Murugesan, Travel Agents Association Of India’s Managing Committee Member.

Most passengers are rerouting their travel plans via other European Countries and/ or Middle Eastern and Far Eastern countries. Murugesan, who is also the President of the Tamilnadu Travel Mart Society, said, the travel industry has urged the German authorities to re-consider the new tax regime.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents global airlines, has sharply criticised the increase in German aviation taxes, weakening the German economy and damaging aviation’s ability to decarbonise.

The tax will make Germany less competitive in key economic areas such as exports, tourism, and jobs. It will further affect Germany’s air transport recovery from the pandemic, which is one of the slowest in the EU. Germany’s international passenger numbers, for example, are still 20 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

“When Germany’s economic performance is anemic at best, denting its competitiveness with more taxes on aviation is policy madness. The government should be prioritizing measures to improve Germany’s competitive position and encouraging trade and travel. Instead, they have gone for a short-term cash-grab which can only damage the economy’s long-term growth,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

“The German government appears to have an unhealthy obsession with aviation taxes. On top of increasing the passenger tax, it is also in favour of a European jet fuel tax which will make it even more expensive to do business in Germany or for families to go on holiday. Our survey of air travellers in Germany shows deep scepticism about government claims for ‘green taxes’. 75 per cent agreed with the statement “Taxation is not the way to make aviation sustainable” and 72 per cent agreed that “Green taxes are just government greenwashing”. Time and again, we see taxation that was supposed to help the industry decarbonize be stolen and then lost in the general budget. And money taken out of the industry means that it has less money to invest in other decarbonization measures,” said Walsh.