The air travel tax in Ireland will be abolished as of April 1, 2014 — and Aer Lingus is suing the State for approximately €61.4 million.
The air travel tax in Ireland — €2.00 per passenger on flights departing from airports within 300 kilometers of Dublin and €10.00 per passenger on all other flights departing from airports elsewhere in Ireland — was introduced by the 2008 Finance Act and deemed in breach of regulations of the European Union two years later, according to an article in the Irish Examiner.
The article further reports that officials at Aer Lingus claim that the provision of the 2008 Finance Act allowing for an additional sum of €8.00 to be imposed on some passengers — via the €10.00 tax — was “unlawful and breached the airline’s rights to property, freedom to conduct business and to provide services under EU law”; and that until the €10.00 tax was repealed in March of 2011 and replaced with a single €3.00 tax applicable to every departure of a passenger from an airport within Ireland regardless of distance traveled, Aer Lingus “paid €61.4m under that tax and consequently suffered loss and damage.”
Simon Fagan — chief commercial officer at Aer Arann, a regional airline based in Dublin with which FlyerTalk members have reported their their experiences, which have not exactly been the best — reportedly said that the abolition of the air travel tax in Ireland “brings Ireland more into line with other countries. It helps airlines like ours to achieve our growth plans, particularly as we roll-out new aircraft and new routes in 2014 and beyond.”
There is no word at this time whether any refunds would be due to customers who already purchased their airline tickets and therefore paid the tax for flights after April 1, 2014.