airberlin stated (08-Sep-2010) it would commence levying the air travel tax through all booking channels in the course of this week, adding that should the legislative proposal fail the company would provide reimbursement. The air travel tax, introduced by the German Government on 01-Sep-2010 for bookings on 01-Sep-2010 onwards and applying to departures from 01-Jan-2011, will amount to EUR8, EUR25 or EUR45 depending on the duration of the flight. Since last weekend, global flight reservation systems have also started to apply the tax to airberlin services, although the carrier had not taken any initiative in this respect. airberlin said "the lawfulness of these actions is currently being verified". [more]
airberlin: "Since levying this tax at a later time would be very cumbersome, airberlin is forced to pass on the resulting cost increase to the passengers, without delay. Should the proposed air travel tax not be accepted in the course of the parliamentary decision-making procedure, airberlin will reimburse the air travel tax. airberlin will continue to fight against these charges which are unilaterally directed against the company. Not only is the tax a stimulus program benefiting foreign airline companies, it is also highly detrimental to competitiveness for flights within Germany, since the tax is levied without taking into account the ticket price or booking class. Moreover, freight and transit flights are exempted from the tax. Therefore, the tax disproportionately burdens those companies transporting more passengers on direct flights, thus benefiting those companies transporting more freight and transit passengers," Company Statement, 08-Sep-2010.