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What will Denmark’s new flight taxes cost and how will they affect air travel?

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
What will Denmark’s new flight taxes cost and how will they affect air travel?
Denmark is set to phase in air travel taxes. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark has announced the gradual phasing in of sliding scale taxes on air travel. How much will the tax cost and by when? And how will the Danish aviation sector be changed?

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To be phased in from 2025, the tax will be 70 kroner on average per passenger per flight for three years before rising to 85 kroner in 2028-2030, after which it will cost an average of 100 kroner.

It should be kept in mind that these are averages, as the tax will be different depending on the distance of the flight.

Each step of the scale will be increased twice from the initial 2025 level to a higher value in 2028 and then the final rate, which will apply from 2030.

All passengers departing from airports in Denmark will be required to pay the tax, with the exception of passengers transferring at Danish airports.

Different taxes are applied to three different categories of flight organised by distance: “within Europe”, “medium” and “long distance”.

Exact definitions are not given for these three categories, but the proposal gives Paris (Europe), New York (medium) and Bangkok (long distance) as examples of destinations that could fall into each one.

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By 2030, the taxes on air travel for each of these destinations will be 60 kroner, 240 kroner and 390 kroner respectively, per passenger and per flight.

The proposal does not specify the exact taxes in 2025 and 2028, as the charges are gradually phased in, but we do know that the average amount paid by passengers will be lower: 70 kroner on average in 2025 and 85 kroner in 2028, compared to 100 kroner on average in 2030.

READ ALSO: Denmark announces plan to charge passengers up to 390 kroner in air travel taxes

Why is Denmark introducing this?

It is partly a measure aimed at reducing Denmark’s emissions, and thereby environmental impact.

“We must consider all sectors [for cutting emissions]. Aviation is not the easiest. It is probably one of the most difficult sectors. I am glad that we are now getting started,” climate and energy minister Lars Aagaard said at a briefing on Thursday.

Aagaard also noted that other countries – Norway and France can be counted among them – already have air travel taxes comparable to the one Denmark is now planning to introduce.

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The tax is expected to lead to a decrease in domestic flights of 7 percent in 2025 and 9 percent in 2030, Aagaard said.

Revenues from the tax are to be invested in several areas, perhaps most interestingly in the development of a “green” domestic flight in Denmark, which will be put out for tender in 2025.

The green flight will “give airports and airlines the opportunity to test green technologies and at the same time create greater demand for both green travel and green technology,” the government said in a statement. Around 800 million kroner will be invested in this by the government.

Further to this, the government is aiming for fully green domestic flights by 2030, with 1.5 billion kroner set aside to support this for the period 2027-33. This is a long-standing ambition of the Danish government.

The travel tax is expected to give the Danish state a revenue of 1.2 billion kroner in 2030.

This will also finance additional welfare for elderly people in Denmark, along with state support for regional airports.

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