It will soon (July 1) be cheaper to fly to the Netherlands as the Dutch government plans to drop its so-called “eco” tax that ranged from €11 to €45 depending upon the length of the flight. Apparently, the tax was supposed to raise about €300 million a year but it turned out to be a really dumb idea that will end up costing the Dutch economy more than €1.3 billion due to a steep decline in passenger traffic at major Dutch airports as passengers simply took flights to neighboring airports in Belgium or Germany and then crossed the border. That will leave Italy, Ireland and the UK with similar “eco” taxes while Belgium has already scrapped plans for a similar tax.
With most of Europe in recession, new “eco” taxes or a Europe-wide “eco” tax scheme is unlikely to occur in the near future while the chances of Ireland or the UK scrapping their “eco” taxes is probably remote since the only other travel options would be by boat or the Chunnel.
Nevertheless, once the economy rebounds, expect the “eco” tax issue to reappear again – perhaps as a Europe wide initiative.