Oct. 21, 2015

The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and an Austrian technology company have collaborated to offer a free online calculator that helps aircraft operators compute the various passenger-oriented taxes now being imposed in some European Union countries.

The “PaxTax” tool calculates the total passenger tax for the flight, and breaks down the cost for both departure and arrival for the respective national taxing authorities.

“It’s a big problem because sometimes operators forget to pay the taxes, and then maybe a year later they get a letter from a fiscal authority telling them they have to pay with a huge fine. Or they calculate very roughly and they can be off by more than 500 or 1,000 euros – that’s lost revenue,” said Paolo Sommariva, co-founder of Vienna-based FL3XX.

The PaxTax calculator is one of more than 30 pricing factors built into FL3XX’s web-based management system that helps business aircraft operators coordinate their sales process, dispatch, airport services planning and crew pre-flight and post-flight information.

Passenger taxes – each with different, complex rules – currently apply in Austria, Bosnia, France, Germany, Italy, Serbia and the United Kingdom.

Italy’s tax was a key topic at the EBAA’s recent National Forum Italy in Rome, which for the first time brought together aircraft operators, Italian policymakers, regulators and other stakeholders for a discussion focused on business aviation. EBAA CEO Fabio Gamba said a plea has been made to the Italian Minister of Economic Development to withdraw the tax, which has been “counter-effective” and “detrimental” to the business aviation sector in the country.

Gabriel Destremaut, EBAA’s manager of political affairs, noted that some operators, “if they can,” try to avoid flying into or out of countries that impose such taxes.

Netherlands repealed a controversial passenger tax in 2009 when a government report revealed significant “defections to foreign airports [in Germany and Belgium] did, in fact, largely transpire.” Ireland abandoned a similar tax in 2014.

View the FL3XX PaxTax tool.