19 JULY 2010
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LUFTHANSA boss Wolfgang Mayrhuber, not one normally lost for words, in English or German, was left speechless when in the middle of the IATA conference last month Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a one billion euro airline departure levy. According to a draft law published last week airlines will be taxed according to the distance their passengers travel. Start date is 1 January. For shorter trips within the European Union and a number of other countries less then 2,500 kilometres away, the tax is set at €13. For longer trips, €26. "We see this tax as a distortion of competition," a spokesman for Air Berlin, Germany's second-biggest airline said. However the figures are miniscule compared with what airlines using Heathrow and other British airports, will have to add onto the ticket price, premium class passengers having to pay at least twice that levied on economy cabin travellers. www.lufthansa.com
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