According to the government’s investigation this tax would reduce CO2 emissions only marginally, and the SEK 1.7 billion in revenue from the aviation tax is not earmarked for efforts to make air travel more sustainable.
Airline industry’s alternative plan
The airlines’ ambition is to reduce CO2 emissions 50% by 2030 over 2005 levels. This will be achieved by:
- Using more climate- and fuel-efficient aircrafts for domestic flights
- Using 50% biofuel for domestic flights (currently less than 1%)
About the “Aviation Tax – a Crash Landing” campaign
The campaign was created by the Swedish Air Transport Society, which has a primary objective of communicating ideas, opinions and information regarding Sweden’s commercial aviation and airline industry.
It is primarily an informational campaign to provide facts and statistics concerning the proposed aviation tax – a tax that will have only a minimal environmental impact, hit hard against people with limited financial resources, and devastate local businesses in remote areas that are already under pressure.
To show that the proposed aviation tax will have only a minimal environmental impact, hit hard against people with limited financial resources, and devastate local businesses in remote areas that are already under pressure.
Ongoing airline industry initiatives to improve the sustainability of air travel are also likely to be significantly reduced.
About the aviation tax
Under the proposal, an aviation tax would be assessed on all passengers travelling on commercial flights from Swedish airports in planes approved for more than ten passengers. The tax would be paid by the airline operating the flight. There would be three tax levels: SEK 80 per passenger for flights within the EES, SEK 280 for non-EES flights within 6,000 km of Arlanda Airport, and SEK 430 for non-EES flights more than 6,000 km from Arlanda Airport.
From an environmental perspective, the proposed aviation tax is a symbolic tax. According to the government’s investigation, total Swedish CO2 emissions would be reduced an estimated 0.09 – 0.2 per cent. A greater reduction would be achieved if each Swede reduced their car travel by one hour per year. The tax would have a restraining effect on the airline industry’s ongoing joint sustainability initiatives and the rate of investment in alternative fuels and eco-friendly aeronautics. In practice, the aviation tax may prolong the time required to achieve sustainable air travel.
Why can’t the industry continue to invest in eco-friendly technology in parallel with an aviation tax? Isn’t it a good thing to pursue as many environmental initiatives as possible?
It is, of course, a good thing to take as many measures as possible to promote the environment. But sustainable air travel will not be achieved through an aviation tax. Investments in environmentally friendly technology and the development of alternative fuels are extremely expensive. Funds generated by the aviation tax would not be reinvested in new technology or aviation fuel, but would rather drain resources from an industry that already suffers from low profit margins. There are simply not enough resources to pay the proposed aviation tax while also increasing investments in eco-friendly technology. Even now, before introduction of the tax, one airline has postponed investment in new aircraft due to uncertainty in the market and regarding demand for flights once the tax is introduced.