US airlines complain about Germany's 'illegal' climate levy - report
Germany's plan to introduce a climate levy on airline tickets to finance a decrease in train fares violates an EU-US aviation treaty, according to US airlines. "The cross-subsidization of the railways at the expense of the airlines violates the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement," says a letter of complaint by the association Airlines for America (A4A), according to newspaper Die Welt. A4A president Nicholas Calio argues in the letter addressed to EU transport commissioner Henrik Hololei the planned levy was "problematic" because it undermined an agreement by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to ensure that the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (Corsia) remains the only climate instrument applied to international flights, writes Daniel Wetzel, who has seen the letter.
The government cabinet agreed earlier this month to increase the planned aviation levy for all passengers taking off from German airports to 13.03 euros for short-haul flights, 33.01 euros for medium-haul and 59.43 euros for long-haul flights. The levy is projected to raise 785 million euros annually, whereas lowering the value added tax (VAT) on train tickets will cost the state much less than this sum, writes Wetzel.