Bures rules out flight ticket tax

Social Democratic (SPÖ) Infrastructure Minister Doris Bures has rejected calls for a taxation of flight tickets.The German government coalition of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) recently announced plans to charge tickets from next year to force aviation companies into doing their bit to help restore the state budget.The CDU-FDP coalition plans to issue short-haul flight tickets for 13 Euros, while long-destination ticket prices would rise by twice the amount in 2011.Now Bures has ruled Austria following the German example.”A European regulation makes sense to avoid distortions of competition,” she said today (Weds).FlyNiki CEO Niki Lauda is expected to welcome the minister’s announcement.The former F1 champ called the planned German levy the “biggest possible competition distortion”.Lauda criticised the German government for supporting the country’s car industry as well as its leading banks with billions of taxpayers’ money in the crisis.FlyNiki is Austria’s biggest aviation firm after German giant Lufthansa acquired a major interest in ailing Austrian Airlines (AUA) last year.The company was founded in 2003. It had 2.6 million passengers last year, and Lauda said the plan was to serve more than three million customers this year.