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Environment

France to impose green tax on plane tickets

media Taxing times for Air France. The national carrier says the government move will penalise its competitiveness. Philippe LOPEZ / AFP

The French government is to impose a tax of up to 18 euros on plane tickets for all flights from airports in France. The revenue will be used to fund less-polluting means of transport.

The move, which will take effect from 2020, will see a tax of 1.5 euros imposed on economy-class tickets on internal flights and those within Europe, with the highest tariff applied to business class travellers flying outside the bloc, according to transport minister Elisabeth Borne.

The new measure is expected to bring in some 182 million euros a year which will be invested in greener transport infrastructures, notably rail, she said.

It will be applied on outgoing flights only and not those flying into the country, Borne added.

Flights to the French Mediterranean island of Corsica and also the French overseas departments – which are hugely dependent on air links for their existence – will be exempt.

A similar tax was introduced in Sweden in April 2018, which imposed an added charge of up to 40 euros on every ticket in a bid to lessen the impact of air travel on the environment.

Shares in Air France fell sharply by almost 4 percent on the news. Its German competitor Lufthansa also traded lower with its shares falling 2.50 percent.

Air France slammed the measure, which it said would "strongly penalise its competitiveness" at a time when the company needed to invest, notably in renewing its fleet, to reduce its carbon footprint.

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