The prices of plane tickets for flights departing from France could increase as early as 2024 due to an increase in the ecotax. Booking before this increase can be a good plan.
For more than a year, the cost of air travel has been steadily rising. For those who dream of getting away or who have to travel for work, this news could well discourage more than one traveler. Currently, the cost of a plane ticket is higher than before the COVID-19 crisis, and even 10% more than in 2017.
But that's not all. Bad news risks making the sky a little less blue for travellers: a new tax on plane tickets is in preparation. In fact, there is already a solidarity tax on plane tickets, created in 2005. Since 2020, this tax includes an eco-tax on flights departing from France. It varies between 1.50 euros for a domestic flight in economy class and 18 euros for a flight outside the European Union in business class. The money from this environmental tax is used to finance transport infrastructure in France, such as trains and roads. Each year, thanks to this eco-tax, the State collects approximately 182 million euros.
So why consider a new tax? The reason given is to favor the train over the plane. Indeed, it has been found that for the same journey, flying is often cheaper than taking the train in France. One study even showed that the train could be 2.6 times more expensive than the plane! France's 2024 budget could therefore include a significant increase in this tax in order to make the plane less competitive.
In addition, there are also discussions at European level concerning a tax on kerosene. This tax would aim to tax aircraft fuel more. However, for this tax to be effective, it must be adopted by several countries in Europe, and not only by France. The discussions on this subject are skating at the moment so it is not the most dangerous.
So if you want to travel in 2024, it might be more interesting to book your trip before the end of the year, before the new French tax comes into effect. There are sites, for example Google Flights, which allow you to select a destination and a date and which alert you as soon as the prices of flights to this destination change. This is a good way to grab the best fare offers from airlines.