Topic of the Week: Ireland Dumps Its Air Travel Tax

Something very unusual (and excellent) came out of Europe this week. Though some taxes were increased in the annual budgeting process, Ireland decided to scrap its air travel tax entirely. The idea is that they want to stimulate more flights to come into the country, and eliminating the tax should help. Anyone want to make bets? Do you think they’ll get more service in Ireland because of this?

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35 Comments on "Topic of the Week: Ireland Dumps Its Air Travel Tax"

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David
Guest

Yes, lower taxes do increase economic activity, but the tax is just 3 euros or 3 dollars. Even with Ryanair’s cheapest fares (fly for 1 euro is long gone – 15 euros is now their minimum) this is still a very small increase on the fare. It sounds like the Govt is doing this so that it can say it’s doing something rather than this having a significant impact on air connectivity.

David
Guest

Correction – tax is just 3 euros or FOUR dollars

Jared Hanner
Member

If it positioned itself correctly, Aer Lingus could make a great European gateway hub in Dublin or Shannon. Taxes are lower than LHR and you fly right over it basically on any flight from the US to Europe, so it wouldn’t be out of the way.m from LA, I usually end up going through London.

David
Guest

Those flying via Ireland in transit on connecting flights (less than 24 hours apart I think) do not pay the tax anyway. The only people paying the tax are those whose overall trip starts or ends in Ireland.
The only places where onward connections really make sense are between the USA and Europe – for connecting passengers the tax did not apply and for those who did pay, 3 euros was tiny in comparison to the main fare.
I therefore do not think the 3 euro tax would have made any significant difference to Aer Lingus’ attempt to create a connecting hub

AG
Guest

Is this the sort of cut that causes Ryanair to triple flights?

Nick Barnard
Member

Nah, they just triple the number of seats on the plane. They’re working with Boeing to modify the fuselage to have an exit at every third aisle. Or maybe thats Easyjet and Airbus?

Sean S.
Guest
As others have noted this “tax” is equivalent to dropping a PFC charge here in America, if not less in many cases. I’m not seeing how that will significantly change things. The reality is that consumption and use taxes for air travel, as well as other forms of transport, which have been around for decades (gas taxes, tonnage taxes for seaways and ports etc), are here to stay and are a legitimate means in which to make the large infrastructure investments self sustaining. People often bring up the Middle Eastern carriers, and their moves to supplant Euro legacies, but truthfully… Read more »
Bravenav
Guest

This is a great move; especially in contrast to the obscene travel taxes across the way in UK.

Paul
Guest

Agreed, great move in terms of leading the way. In reality, it’s not gonna change a thing. When considered in terms of expenses of a visit to Ireland the tax would probably be <1% of total expenditures.

David
Guest
Those air passenger taxes in the UK are a remarkably good way for the UK Govt to extract a bit more cash out of non-residents coming to the UK instead of raising domestic income taxes – places like Heathrow are so full that even if tax was dropped you wouldn’t be able to squeeze any more flights in. Offer the average Brit living in the UK the choice of zero flight tax and higher income tax, and they’ll happily choose to put some of the tax burden onto foreigners instead… Taxing long haul flights (4+ hrs) much more heavily than… Read more »
DesertGhost
Guest

I really have to wonder how many people really care about airline taxes. As an aside, I also wonder how many travelers know their tickets are being taxed. Every industry claims it’s the only one that’s over taxed. And most probably are.

mandel.jerry1
Member

The problem is not the actual lower air ticket taxes, it is the awful UK government arrival/departure taxes.

MeanMeosh
Guest
While any easing of travel taxes is welcome news, I agree with David and don’t see this as a substantial game changer, at least in an aviation-related sense. We’re talking a few dollars each way here, so would that really stimulate a bunch of demand for people to visit Ireland? I have been there, and can testify that it’s a lovely country with lovely people, but I just don’t see that happening. Where it may have more of an effect is with the perception of Ireland’s business climate in general. Ireland for years has been touting itself as a “low… Read more »
David SF eastbay
Member
Even if you paid the Irish tax, it was still nothing compared to the horrid taxes it’s neighbor the UK charges. Those huge UK taxes and fuel surcharges the airliines charge has not slowed connecting travel via the UK or caused British carriers to shrink because no one travels to/from/via the UK. But like someone said most people don’t know that carrier fuel surcharges and British taxes combined can be over $1000.00 on a business class ticket depending on final destination but flying via another point would save so much money. They need to have ads comparing taxes you pay… Read more »
David
Guest
UK APD (Air Passenger Duty) is structured so that if you fly via the UK spending less than 24 hours between flights, you do not pay any tax. Thus a series of flights which are genuine connections will always pay no UK APD. Flying into the UK does not incur any tax, only journeys starting in the UK (exlcuding those on connecting flights) and depends on how far you fly and whether you are in the cheap seats or business class. UK-Europe costs US$20. The absolute maximum for flights over 6,000 miles, (mainly Argentina, SE Asia or Australasia) in business… Read more »
Sean S.
Guest

Wouldn’t want facts to get in the way!

J-Bob
Guest

Pretty sure he said “carrier fuel surcharges and British taxes combined can be over $1000.00 on a business class ticket”. Don’t let reading comprehension stand in the way is more like it.

David SF eastbay
Member
“”””” that carrier fuel surcharges and British taxes combined can be over $1000.00 on a business class ticket depending on final destination””””” I did say the combination of airline fuel surcharges and british taxes. Example if flying business roundtrip LAX-DEL-LAX connecting LHR both directions on BA you would pay a total (today) of 1624.73 in taxes with 1410.00 being BA fuel surchange and 95.40 british tax, the rest would be USA/India taxes. But same itin with stops in London in both directions that tax is now 2135.83 with BA fuel surcharge still 1410.00 and now British taxes 479.50 and 127.00… Read more »
owd
Guest

Well Ryanair has already said they intend to add 1 million extra seats in and out of Ireland as a result of this tax being dropped. If one can believe a single word that comes out of the Ryanair PR machine, that would seem like good news.

malbarda
Member
The Netherlands had a flight tax from July 2008 – July 2009. Then it was abolished, only to surface again in the last round of budget discussions to prop up the ailing Dutch economy. Apparently it is now off the table again… During that time, as well as now, the whole air industry protested against it, as well as most of the business community. When it resurfaced, KLM and Schiphol even staged a protest at Parliament in The Hague. It did not however impact Schiphol’s business as 4th largest airport in Europe, although anecdotally people who live close to the… Read more »
malbarda
Member

Sorry, I attached the wrong link. I am clearly to old to reliably multi-task:

http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2013/10/09/begrotingsoverleg-vliegtaks-van-tafel-gesprekken-waarschijnlijk-maandag-verder/

malbarda
Member

I am clearly also TOO old to type correct English…

mandel.jerry1
Member

To avoid horrible air taxes in UK, fly to Dublin on Aer Lingus from Boston using Avios. Stopover if desired. One (1) ticket rail-ferry-rail to/from London. See some scenery. Maybe 5 or 6 hours for the trip. Or fly from Dublin to Denmark/Netherlands/Belgium/ France for few Avios. Note: France and Germany have high air taxes. Or fast bus through Chunnel to mainland-more convenient the the train.

mharris127
Guest
I have one question regarding the elimination of the travel tax in Ireland. Is this going to make air travel from there less safe because the money to pay their equal of the TSA is gone (and with it their airport security)? I think the tax should have been raised to cover security costs, not eliminated. Actually the US should raise the travel tax sharply as well so that those that don’t fly won’t have to continue to pay for airport security. I think $75 per segment with a $150 maximum per 24-hour itinerary would be adequate. It is dumb… Read more »
Nick Barnard
Member

There is a security fee on US itineraries. I’m not sure if it fully covers the costs of the TSA, but I hope its close.

JuliaZ
Member

So my daughter will be almost 14 the next time she flies to Granny in Norwich, UK, from Seattle… she used to fly direct to LHR but that costs a bomb so lately she’s flown SEA-AMS-NOR which is good and bad — the flight attendants assigned to her unattended minor ticket “lost” her once in AMS because she was curled up quietly reading in the lounge… should she fly via Ireland next time? If it were up to me, she’d be flying via RKV because it would be both more interesting and less chaotic, but it’s not.

malbarda
Member

My son, who is 12, travels Leeds Bradford – NY (where we live) as an UM, as well as LBA – AMS (grandparents). He has never gotten “lost” thankfully. He prefers AMS over LHR as he likes KLM/Delta better than BA/AA. He also prefers the KLM UM lounge. I always have him fly business, and I, too, prefer AMS for the obvious tax reasons. Plus, if he gets stuck there due to any kind of travel mishap, he doesn’t have to stay at the airport but can go to his grandparents.

janpaulr
Member

Canadians drive “just” across the border to Billingham or Buffalo for cheaper flights originating in the US. Airport fees in Canada are 5 times as high as the US.

Also – interestingly no-one mentions the pre-clearing for US customs/passport control at Dublin and Shannon airports. Flying via Ireland and clearing US controls already in Ireland make the arrival in the US so much easier.

Eric
Guest
This is definitely a step in the right direction. On my last vacation in Paris, I flew back from paris via dublin (and a separate ticket to dublin on ryanair) because the savings were enough to justify it. Much of that savings went to the local pubs (vs. overpriced french food) so in the end, I paid much more tax in dublin than 3 euros. This should be a marketed by the Irish gov’t for tourists to spend a day in Ireland before heading back to the US. APD between London and Dublin is low, and the difference in APD… Read more »
John Hurt
Guest

This decision does seem uncommon. Has any country done it before? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything like that.

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