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Danish 'green' tax to help pay retirement pensions – part two: airlines and airports react

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Two of the five Nordic countries have already applied aviation taxes. The taxes are not universally popular, but because they are nominally ‘environment’ taxes, the populations of both countries have tended to go along with them.

Now Denmark will introduce one from 2025 – but with several twists in the way the income will be used.

Fundamentally, taxes on all flights will be employed to improve the operations of essentially domestic airports, vaguely – to ‘restructure’ the sector and to trial an entirely ‘green’ route, the lessons from which can be used to secure 100% domestic green aviation by 2030 (although precisely what that means has yet to be clarified).

It all seems laudable, but airlines, airports (especially Copenhagen) and trade bodies have been quick to criticise its downsides and to propose alternatives. And promoting rail travel as an alternative is one that does not seem to have been considered.

One issue that may arise soon is the unusual decision that part of the tax will be used to fund (wholly) general retirement pensions – which may not go down well, not only with indigenous travellers, but also with those from other countries.

This is part two of a two-part report.

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