Hunbelievable, says Ryanair over new German passenger tax
In a bid to drum up cash during the current money drought, many governments and airports have been tinkering with taxation. The recession has not been kind to the travel industry, hence lots of batshit crazy schemes that do little to endear them to equally strapped passengers.
Now it's Germany's turn; the country is planning to introduce an air passenger tax of between €8 and €45 per passenger, in a bid to raise €1 billion a year. Unsurprisingly, everybody who owns airplanes thinks it's mental; airlines association BDF believes German passenger volumes will drop by 5 million per year as a result of the tax.
Ryanair have now spat their dummy out, too - the budget airline will cancel flights on nine routes from Frankfurt-Hahn airport next year. The cuts means a loss of routes for Dublin, Edinburgh and Stansted airports.
The airline has stated 30% of flights will be cut and one million passengers will be lost from the German airport from Summer 2011. "We're not closing our business in Hahn, we're just saying that we have one million passengers there who are not willing to pay €8 more per ticket," said Ryanair.
Of course, Ryanair haven't asked one million passengers what they think, and are simply heading the Germans off at the pass; they've been through similar experiences with Ireland's tourist tax, and will have some idea how the additional charge will affect passenger numbers.
Regardless, a reduction in the number of flights per week won't cause that much harm to the bottom line; the aircraft dropped from the route will serve other routes instead, and fewer flights may create proportionally more demand, meaning Ryanair can justify selling the seats for more.