New tax on flights approved

A new tax on flights from Swedish airports has been approved by the government and its partners in the Green and Left parties.

The tax, to be introduced on 1st July next year, will mean that economy class tickets from Sweden to other European destinations will go up by 96 kronor. Business class tickets to destinations outside Europe will cost 430 kronor more.

The government says the tax is needed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But opponents say that the extra charges, which will earn 1.4 billion kronor per year for the state, will have no benefits for the environment.

“We have great respect for the fact that we need to handle emissions of carbon dioxide and particles,” said Ilmar Reepalu, Malmö County Council chairman and head of the Swedish Association of County Councils.

“But this will have absolutely no effect on the environment – it is a tax on flying, pure and simple.”

Reepalu voices concern that the tax will have a negative effect on his region, with Copenhagen airport only 20 minutes away from Malmö not subject to the Swedish flight taxes.

Certain regional airports in Sweden, particularly in the north of the country, will be exempt from the tax. The government argues that access to flights is crucial to regional development in more isolated areas.

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