France Wants an ‘Ecotax’ of up to $20 on Flights Beginning Next Year

Jul 9, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The French government announced on Tuesday that it plans to introduce a new environment tax on flights departing from France, beginning next year. The “ecotax” will range in amount between €1.50 and €18 ($1.70 and $20) as part of the government’s bid to help the environment.

Air France followed Tuesday’s announcement by releasing a statement, saying that it “strongly disapproves” of the proposal.

“This new tax would significantly penalize Air France’s competitiveness, at a time when the company needs to strengthen its investment capacity to more rapidly reduce its environmental footprint, notably as part of its fleet renewal policy,” the airline said in the statement.

The tax is expected to raise around €180 million ($200 million), which the French government plans to invest in more eco-friendly methods of transportation.

Air France says that the country is already one of the most highly taxed air transport industries in all of Europe, and this new imposition would cost the group (which includes KLM and Transavia) upwards of €60 million a year ($67 million), affecting its ability to remain competitive in the European aviation market.

In the face of increasing competition from low-cost carriers, the airline’s intra-Europe short-haul operation is already losing money. An additional tax on top of this would presumably not help, though this would be equally imposed on its competitors operating flights from France.

Paris CDG Airport. Photo by Emily McNutt / The Points Guy

The tax does not apply to flights arriving in France, flights connecting through France, or from France to French overseas territories like Reunion Island or French Polynesia. French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne advised that the cheapest end of the tax will be for domestic and European economy flights, with the highest level imposed on business- and first-class ticketss departing France to outside the European Union.

In an era of increasing consciousness of environmental protection, the French flag carrier has agreed to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050, which is in line with the Paris Climate Agreement Objectives.

Featured image by Darren Murph / The Points Guy

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
  • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.