The country of France will be asking for assistance from other members of the European Union (EU) to establish a base price for flights within Europe, in an effort to decrease the impact of the aviation industry on climate change. According to Minister of Transport Clement Beaune, this measure is being taken in order to address the issue.
If the proposal is accepted, it could negatively impact airlines that offer extremely affordable tickets. However, it may face challenges in gaining enough backing from EU member states. This is because some countries, such as island nations that heavily rely on air travel, and regions with thriving tourism industries due to budget flights, may not fully support it.
According to Mr. Beaune, France’s goal is to initiate a discussion on the ethical and ecological cost of purchasing a flight ticket.
According to him, simply increasing the ticket prices by ten is not the solution. This is because there are individuals who may only fly once in their lifetime and do not have a significant amount of money. Flying is a form of freedom and transportation that should not be limited to the wealthy.
According to Reuters, EU officials have stated that countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium are in favor of the concept. However, previous attempts by Austria to implement a minimum price were hindered by legal complications, as reported by EU officials.
“I believe it is a conversation that we must have at the European Union level,” stated Mr. Beaune.
Gaining more widespread acceptance may be difficult. Discussions between EU member states regarding taxes on aviation fuel have reached a deadlock, as certain governments are against implementing measures that could result in higher costs for the public before the upcoming EU elections next year.
The European Union has implemented strategies to reduce the environmental consequences of air travel. In the coming years, flights within Europe will face increased fees for their emission of carbon dioxide through the EU’s carbon market system.
A potential increase in ticket prices may negatively affect the operational structure of airlines such as Ryanair, renowned for its exceptionally affordable flights within Europe. At the moment, Ryanair has not provided a response to the inquiry for a statement.
Ryanair shut down its base at Brussels’ Zaventem airport for the winter season, citing higher fees and taxes. This came after Belgium implemented a 10-euro tax for each passenger on flights less than 500km and a two-euro fee for each passenger departing on EU routes.
Several industry organizations have expressed their objection to the proposal. In a recent communication addressed to EU member states, Airlines for Europe stated that implementing a minimum price would violate an EU regulation that grants airlines the autonomy to determine their own prices.
“The letter, viewed by Reuters, stated that we do not endorse any actions that would infringe upon the established rights of airlines under EU Law.”