Could Planned Tax Increases for Spanish Airlines Hit Tourism?

Could Planned Tax Increases for Spanish Airlines Hit Tourism? Credit: Pixabay

Could Planned Tax Increases for Spanish Airlines Hit Tourism?

The Spanish government is planning to hit airlines with a new tax from 2022 onwards, but could this hit tourism too. The controversial plans have angered airlines who operate in Spain, and claim that the move would “be devastating for tourism”.

The new tax proposals were sent to Brussels as part of documents in order to prepare for incoming reconstruction funds, with the aim of compensating for the aviation industry’s negative effects on the environment, via increasing taxes. The measure had previously been submitted for public consideration last year, although this was put on the backburner when the Coronavirus pandemic started.

The Spanish government has now raised the issue of taxes again but this comes at a time when the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic is causing the biggest crisis for the airline industry in history. The plans have raised strong objections from airlines.

Javier Gándara, president of ALA, the association that brings together many airlines who operate in Spain, explained the effects that the tax could have. He said, “A possible tax on commercial aviation will have a marginal effect on emissions reduction and will be devastating for tourism, employment and connectivity at a time when the industry is fighting for its survival.”

Gándara has questioned what impact the tax measures would have. If the tax came in the form of a fuel tax this would only apply “to domestic flights, as international flights are governed by multilateral agreements”. This raised concerns as domestic flights in Spain only account for a limited percentage of emissions produced.

He explained that, domestic flights represent “little more than 10% of total emissions and many of them are essential, because they provide connectivity” between Spanish owned islands and the Spanish mainland.

He went on to propose alternatives to taxes and said, “Rather than taking resources away from the industry via taxes, we need to invest in more sustainable aviation with alternatives to paraffin such as electricity or hydrogen, scale up the production of biofuels and develop infrastructures so that aviation emits less.”

Currently the government has not decided on the specific form that the tax would take or when exactly it would come into force.

The Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, highlighted that “the decision will be taken next year because there is also a debate in Europe” as reported La Vanguardia.

Ribera also stressed that “European aid is not a fund for large companies, but to benefit everyone”.

The Euro Weekly News is running a campaign to help reunite Brits in Spain with their family and friends by capping the costs of PCR tests for travel. Please help us urge the government to cap costs at

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]