Seeking Uplift

Lufthansa, Rival Carriers Push for Cuts in German Fuel Surcharges

Thomas Oppermann, Gerda Hasselfeldt and Volker Kauder in Berlin in May of this year.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Lufthansa issued a profits warning. Air Berlin is running at a loss. Meanwhile, Emirates and Etihad are booming. Germany’s airlines say they desperately need government help to stay afloat.

  • Facts


    • The airline tax introduced in 2011 generates an annual €1 billion ($1.3 billion) for the German government.
    • The transport ministry is keen to stop further burdens on Germany’s airline industry following a secret meeting between executives and politicians in spring this year.
    • The air travel tax places a heavier burden on German airlines than foreign airlines which take off and land in Germany, according to a Handelsblatt Research Institute study.
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High taxes, onerous regulation and fierce competition are crippling the German aviation industry and the government needs to help the sector from buckling under the pressure.

This was the message delivered during a private meeting of senior airline executives, including the chief executive of Lufthansa, and German government representatives held earlier this year.

German airlines complain that they have to operate under unfair conditions, facing greater regulation and taxes than rivals. At the meeting, the German airline managers asked for an easing of restrictions on night flights and the air travel tax. German law regulates what kinds of planes which can take off and land between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Some airports only allow take aircraft with low-noise motors to operate, or freight and emergency aircraft.

The German air travel tax ranges from €7.50 for domestic flights and up to €42.18 for intercontinental flights per passenger ticket.


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