Belgium introduces extra tax for private planes and short flights | Economy

Belgium introduces a new tax for private aircraft. Short flights are also taxed extra, as are aircraft that emit more than average. The Belgian government wants to prevent pollution and noise nuisance.

It is already the case that noisy aircraft at Brussels Airport have to pay a tax. Private jets are still exempt from this.

That will change on April 1. Moreover, from that moment on, the degree of pollution and the final destination count towards the tax. A higher tax is then levied on flights shorter than 500 kilometres. It is not yet known how high the tax will be.

Business flights account for one in eight flight movements in Belgium. Transport Minister Georges Gilkinet says it is only logical that they should also be taxed.

Short flights also take place in the Netherlands. For example, ministers increasingly take the government plane. This often involves relatively short flights within Europe. Also to, for example, Paris or Luxembourg, destinations that are easy to reach by train or car.