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Ticket tax damages Austria’s economy and costs jobs: Austrian Airlines, NIKI and Vienna Airport

12-Apr-2013 9:17 AM

Austrian Airlines, NIKI and Vienna Airport stated (11-Apr-2013) the "ticket tax is damaging Austria’s economy, and is costing jobs". The companies are calling for the tax’s revocation stating "they see the tax as being an impediment to Austria’s transport sector – and particularly to Vienna’s role of being a hub" and noting the company, alongside Germany, is at a serious competitive disadvantage in having the tax. NIKI and Austrian Airlines noted that during its two years, the ticket tax has cut the number of passengers traveling via Vienna by more than one million. Flughafen Wien chairman Julian Jäger said: “Vienna Airport views the ticket tax as being an encumbrance upon the country’s air industry. Our clients are the airlines. Their determination of the attractiveness of a destination is derived from a calculation encompassing all costs. This charge is thus both totally unnecessary and a crippling of our ability to complete." NIKI MD Christian Lesjak explained how this competitive disadvantage works: “We are an Austrian airline. The air traffic charge thus affects us. But the negative effects are not restricted to that. The tax brakes incoming traffic. That is simply because it makes Austria a more expensive international destination. And this, in turn, damages the country’s entire tourism industry, with this comprising everything from hotels to museums. This industry, in turn, is one of the major components – it is, for instance, much more important than in Germany - of the country’s economy. The tax thus undermines the tourism industry’s stability and exposes it to unnecessary risks." Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht said: “The Netherlands revoked the ticket tax one year after its promulgation. This was due to the rapid recognition of passengers’ shifting of their patronage to airports located in neighbouring countries. The relevant role model in this case for Austria is not Germany but the Netherlands.” [more - original PR] [more - original PR - Oxford Economics - German]