European Parliament rejects a report targeting Business aviation

A European Parliament's report targeting Business aviation did not receive final approval from the Plenary...

The European Parliament rejected a non-binding own-initiative report on the ‘Role of tax policy in times of crisis’ on December 12th. The vote in the Parliament’s plenary resulted in 300 against, 282 in favour, and 30 abstentions. This report had advocated for prohibitive taxes on Business aviation initiated by Danish Green MEP Kira Peter-Hansen. The rejection followed extensive advocacy efforts by EBAA and GAMA to correct several false claims about Business aviation found in the report. 

Once approved by the Parliament’s Plenary, the so called “own initiative” reports” are received by the European Commission, which then decides whether to develop a proposal on the addressed topic. The Commission is not obliged to use the Parliament’s content as a basis for its formal legal proposal. In addition, the Commission has stated numerous times that it does not plan to introduce further taxes specifically targeting Business aviation on the EU level.  

The report on the ‘Role of tax policy in times of crisis’ originated from the Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and gained support among left and green parties. Subsequently, it was reviewed by the Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN), which confirmed ECON’s stance. Despite calling on the Commission to raise taxes on various industries, including Business aviation, the report, having failed approval in the Parliament’s Plenary, will not be submitted to the European Commission, effectively ceasing any legislative effect. 

The rationale behind advocating for prohibitive taxation on Business aviation was based on the distorted and falsified claim that the number of “private jet flights” increased by 64% between 2021 and 2022. This information, sourced from a Greenpeace report, had previously been refuted by EBAA in a press release. The release provided evidence that, as per Eurocontrol data, the sharp increase in 2022 was a one-time occurrence, attributable to the pandemic, with business jet flights increasing only by 7% between 2019 (the last year before the pandemic hit) and 2022. 

EBAA and GAMA were actively engaged in reaching out to MEPs to correct the false information in the report and reaffirm Business aviation’s key role in European connectivity, economic growth, and sustainable innovation in aviation. Thanks to this effort, MEPs submitted several favourable amendments to the report that are less radical and more business-friendly, including the recognition of Business aviation’s essential contribution to the EU economy.  

While welcoming this positive development for the European Business aviation industry, EBAA remains vigilant as the 2024 European elections approach.