Netherlands Hugely Increasing Airline Ticket Taxes

Netherlands Hugely Increasing Airline Ticket Taxes

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In an effort to get people to fly less, the Dutch government has plans to massively increase taxes on airplane tickets as of 2023.

Dutch government increasing airplane ticket taxes

De Telegraaf is reporting that the the Dutch passenger will be increasing taxes on airplane tickets as of January 1, 2023. Specifically, the “Netherlands Dutch State Tax,” which applies specifically to travelers departing the Netherlands (and not connecting passengers), will increase by over €20, from €7.95 to €28.58.

This means that next year the tax on airplane tickets will be more than 350% of what it is this year. Also keep in mind that this is only one of the taxes that airline passengers pay, as tickets departing the Netherlands are also subjected to the “Netherlands Passenger Service Charge” and the “Netherlands Security Service Charge.”

For context, on a one-way Amsterdam to Frankfurt ticket in 2023, those three taxes alone would amount to over €60. Ouch.

This increase in taxes is part of a new coalition agreement, with the goal being that more expensive airline tickets will encourage people to choose more sustainable transportation options, like trains.

I find the execution of this to be strange:

  • If it’s about the environment in the Netherlands, it’s odd to me to only tax those originating in the Netherlands, and not those connecting through the country
  • A consistent aviation tax for all regions seems overly simplified — on the one hand, it’s not like you can take a train across an ocean, while on the other hand a tax like this has a disproportionate impact on the cost of short haul tickets, even in markets where a train isn’t feasible
Airline ticket taxes are going way up in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is also capping flights

It’s one thing if the above were the only change from the Netherlands, but it’s not. In June 2022, a permanent “green flight cap” was announced for Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, intended to be implemented in 2023.

Specifically, the maximum number of annual flights at the airport will be cut from 500,000 to 440,000. The previous plan was for the airport to eventually have up to 540,000 flights per year, so this represents a roughly 20% reduction compared to that plan.

This is being done to cut emissions of carbon and other pollutants (such as nitrogen oxide), and is also intended to reduce noise around the airport.

Airlines are obviously strongly opposed to this. Dutch flag carrier KLM has expressed its displeasure with this policy, explaining that KLM’s network connects the Netherlands with the world’s key economic centers, and this is important for the country to attract businesses and remain an important international trading center. Reducing the flight cap so drastically will undermine KLM’s ability to keep doing that.

The Netherlands is also adding a flight cap

Bottom line

The Netherlands is expected to hugely increase the taxes on airline tickets as of 2023. Specifically, the general ticket tax for those originating in the Netherlands is expected to increase from €7.95 to €28.58. This is one of only several taxes that applies to passengers, so this will greatly increase the cost of many tickets, and in turn decrease demand. That seems to be the goal, so…

What do you make of the Dutch government’s airline ticket tax increase?

(Tip of the hat to Klaus)

Conversations (42)
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  1. Steven E Guest

    Hey Ben - you may look to edit the first part of this

  2. iamhere Guest

    Key point is it does not apply to connecting passengers.

  3. Grey Gold

    Your headline and then throughout the article, you keep saying that this is a huge massive increase, and really catastrophise this, when in reality, all they are doing is bringing it more in line with other neighbouring countries. Sheesh, try comparing business class taxes from Paris and London and tell me that 28 EUR is anything to write home about. This tax is part of the government's plan to recover money it spent after the...

    Your headline and then throughout the article, you keep saying that this is a huge massive increase, and really catastrophise this, when in reality, all they are doing is bringing it more in line with other neighbouring countries. Sheesh, try comparing business class taxes from Paris and London and tell me that 28 EUR is anything to write home about. This tax is part of the government's plan to recover money it spent after the corona pandemic. I realise that some people don't like raising taxes, but here in NL, we don't like our government borrowing money without having any plans on how to pay it back and this is part of their plan on returning to a financially healthy position.

  4. Peter Guest

    Hypocrisy! They want to protect the environment as long as it doesn’t harm KLM’s vital transfer market.

  5. Jax Guest

    Unfortunately, their alternatives are prohibitively expensive even with the tax. A train from Amsterdam or even Rotterdam to Brussels is 40-60 euro one way. It’s cheaper to rice and pay for parking! Absurd.

    1. Steven E Guest

      What ??? Rice and pay

  6. Ross Guest

    " short haul tickets, even in markets where a train isn’t feasible"

    For example?

    1. Watson Gold

      AMS-LHR. No one is taking a train to Paris first so they can take the Chunnel. That's both expensive and time-consuming.

    2. Frederik Guest

      Loads. AMS to Oslo, Helsinki, Dublin and Edinburgh among many others.

  7. Mangiafica Guest

    I was planning to visit Amsterdam for a concert in February.

    Was

    1. Ralph Guest

      So €20 is preventing you from flying to another country to go to a concert? No offense, but it is this kind of low-cost no-spend tourism that doesn’t contribute anything to our national economy. It only keeps city center tourist traps in business.

  8. Kjum hi Guest

    Jesus, I’ll just fly from Belgium or Deutschland….

    1. reddargon Diamond

      Do you live in the Netherlands? If so, you're going to drive/train to another country to fly from there each time? It's only 20 euros per flight, this hardly seems worth wasting all that time each time you want to fly, let alone it's not cost-free to get to another country...

  9. Anb Guest

    It would be better to tax per flight than per passenger.. that way less empty flights or private small aircraft

  10. Richard Guest

    A general policy/deal on this is needed across western-Europe, to encourage short-haul flyers to switch to trains, where-possible or sensible, but this is the EEC so don't expect anything in-a-hurry. It's long-overdue, look at the UK's airport-departure-tax as a model, for example. And expect Ryanair/EasyJet to start screaming !

  11. AdrienH Guest

    As long as train tickets are 2 to 3x more expensive than plane tickets ... 20 € increase won't make any difference? But as Schiphol airport is the biggest embarrassment in aviation world for the moment, they just don't know anymore what to do? They had short-term vision, put 6 bagage handling companies, competing, killing each other and guess what ... after a few years, and despite 10-15% pay increase ... well no one is...

    As long as train tickets are 2 to 3x more expensive than plane tickets ... 20 € increase won't make any difference? But as Schiphol airport is the biggest embarrassment in aviation world for the moment, they just don't know anymore what to do? They had short-term vision, put 6 bagage handling companies, competing, killing each other and guess what ... after a few years, and despite 10-15% pay increase ... well no one is willing to do the job. Similar issues with airport security screening.

  12. Tom Guest

    Of course they dont tax connections - that would make KL uncompetitive with other airlines offering connecting flights between similar O&Ds. Same way that the UK does not add their tax to transit passengers - only local.

  13. 9volt Member

    I think another aspect to this is how the government intends to use this new windfall of tax money. Is it actually going to be used to help its citizens? Or just pad the pockets of government officials?

  14. David Guest

    You get what you vote for. Kick em out of office next chance you get. Remind them who they work for.

    1. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      The current Dutch coalition government is lead by center/right parties and the next election is in 2025 so... what are you talking about?

    2. glenn t Diamond

      This would not be an issue for 99.99% of Duch voters, and therefore very unlikely to have any electoral impact.

    3. Ralph Guest

      David has clearly been to Western Europe. That is not how it works here. We vote for 20-odd parties, around half of them form a coalition government and nobody gets what they voted for. In return we get good roads, good schools, low crime, decent healthcare & a decent pension plan. Oh and most governments also subsidize pet ambulances. (Last comment added to get the self-made self-aggrandizing Americans on this blog truly going…)

    4. mpkossen New Member

      In my experience, the general public opinion in The Netherlands has already shifted. Many see flying as a bad thing.

      It is ironic that a country that doesn't produce much (other than cheese and flowers) and relies heavily on its knowledge-based economy, starts actively fighting those things that make it a popular business destination. (Or tourist/transfer destination.)

  15. Tim Guest

    Aside from this new tax being insanely irrational and borderline crazy, there is another downside to that. I live in Western Germany, very close to the Dutch border. We have always seen hundreds of Durch people using Dusseldorf airport in the peak times and this number will now definitely increase even more. This will bring the airports in our region to the limits of capacity.

  16. Khatl Diamond

    Easy to differentiate between flights originating in the Netherlands those transiting. I'm guessing that part of the issue with levying it on those transiting would be if a similar tax was levied on someone coming from another EU country i.e., would be against the EU single market rules

  17. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    I have a feeling we'll see less conferences/meetings/exhibitions in the Netherlands real soon....

  18. Syd Guest

    sadly, looks like the beautiful and amazing Europe can't be saved. It continues to put joke politicians in power and the more ridiculous they get, the more the Europeans cheer on them. It was a nice run you beautiful continent, unfortunately time to completely ignore any policies, ideas or suggestions that come out of you.

    1. Ralph Guest

      I wish they upped the airport tax to €75. That would kill just about every low-cost carrier presence in my country and make Schiphol pleasurable again. The working class (“middle class” in America sec.) should yearn for their precious holiday, toiling away in the coal mines (we should reopen them again to offset all the environmental saving we are doing) saving up for it bit by bit and feeling humbled to part-take in travel with...

      I wish they upped the airport tax to €75. That would kill just about every low-cost carrier presence in my country and make Schiphol pleasurable again. The working class (“middle class” in America sec.) should yearn for their precious holiday, toiling away in the coal mines (we should reopen them again to offset all the environmental saving we are doing) saving up for it bit by bit and feeling humbled to part-take in travel with those who can read & write. Now if Air France KLM could stop people without Skyteam Elite status from booking award tickets, it would also end all you creditcard-spend peasants from annoying Europeans on board.

  19. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Environmentalism - in contrast to a genuine concern and care of the environment - is simply a transfer of wealth and the NL government proves that is its intent just as other countries have done; NL is actually behind other EU governments in the rate of taxes on aviation. In the name of the environment, countries are attempting to recoup revenues they lost during covid while providing a hard reset to their policies which will...

    Environmentalism - in contrast to a genuine concern and care of the environment - is simply a transfer of wealth and the NL government proves that is its intent just as other countries have done; NL is actually behind other EU governments in the rate of taxes on aviation. In the name of the environment, countries are attempting to recoup revenues they lost during covid while providing a hard reset to their policies which will leave everyday people - not the rich - worse off.

  20. cameron Guest

    Makes sense to me.

  21. DLPTATL Diamond

    Glad they aren't hitting connecting pax as a frequent DL/KLM connecting pax at AMS. Agree with others that this seems to favor KLM over point-to-point low cost carriers (the % to ticket price will also likely be much higher for them).

  22. TravelManager Guest

    The way this is enacted, it almost plays out like a way to help KLM. The vast majority of their traffic is transit, and where they compete with LCCs, this tax will help to reduce the total ticket price savings of an LCC vs KLM.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      The tax increase, yes.

      The flight cap reduction at AMS, no.

  23. Andy 11235 Guest

    While Europe is famous for efficient, high-speed trains within each country, international connections are woefully inadequate. Consider that a train from AMS to Frankfurt takes 5-6 hours, which is about what you'd manage in a car. Seems to be putting the cart before the horse to raise taxes and cut flights without already having alternatives in place. That said, an extra €20 is hardly a "massive" tax increase. That's obviously aimed at LCCs.

  24. Ryan Guest

    It’s funny they just announced the new terminal zuid coming this decade, but they’re reducing number of flights. I’m sure that policy will be scrapped, just makes them look good to say they’re going to do it.

    1. DLPTATL Diamond

      I think a lot of what's happening in Europe now is more of a response to the disruption in fossil fuels coming into the Union as a result of Russia's egregious invasion of Ukraine and response to tariffs. The fact that they can green-wash rather than saying they're prioritizing keeping people warm this winter over travel helps the PR machine.

  25. Ryan Guest

    Alternatives to flying in the Netherlands aren’t great. Yes there are high speed trains to Paris, Frankfurt, and London, but these often sell out way in advance and are much more expensive than flying. Although infrastructure for high speed trains exists, it’s underutilized and not ready to be a full time replacement. If they got serious about adding Eurostar service and speeding it up so it’s cheaper and more competitive with flying, people would do it.

    1. reddargon Diamond

      Maybe the plan is to use money raised from the tax increase to fund improvements? Somehow I doubt it... but in theory that would be an OK plan. As a Paris resident, I agree that high-speed trains to the Netherlands are often more expensive than flying unless you book far in advance.

  26. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    Only going to hurt the common citizen. Corporations and the rich will just pay it without even knowing it's there.

    But if Dutch constituents want to reward politicians for taking just-to-be-seen-doing-SOMETHING actions such as this, then I guess that's their prerogative.

    1. Ed Guest

      So what would ‘doing something’ look like?

    2. XPL Diamond

      "So what would ‘doing something’ look like?"

      If politicians really want to reduce carbon emissions as they claim, they would tax carbon directly, not cherry pick a few visible symbols to score cheap political points.

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frrp Member

More environmental BS.

5
Tim Dunn Diamond

Environmentalism - in contrast to a genuine concern and care of the environment - is simply a transfer of wealth and the NL government proves that is its intent just as other countries have done; NL is actually behind other EU governments in the rate of taxes on aviation. In the name of the environment, countries are attempting to recoup revenues they lost during covid while providing a hard reset to their policies which will leave everyday people - not the rich - worse off.

3
ConcordeBoy Diamond

Only going to hurt the common citizen. Corporations and the rich will just pay it without even knowing it's there. But if Dutch constituents want to reward politicians for taking just-to-be-seen-doing-SOMETHING actions such as this, then I guess that's their prerogative.

3
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