Flight tax citizen’s initiative goes to Parliament

A new tax could see a system similar to Sweden being introduced, where passengers pay between €6 and €40 extra on tickets, depending how long their flights are.

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File picture of plane in flight / Credit: iStock

A citizen’s initiative to add an extra cost to every plane ticket bought in Finland will be submitted to Parliament on Wednesday, after collecting more than 55,000 signatures last autumn.

The organisers of the initiative believe that economic controls are needed to reduce the number of Finns flying.

They say that air transport generates very high levels of carbon dioxide, water vapor and other emissions which account for about 4% of global warming.

“The main purpose is to quit the additional advantage that flight industry now has, which is the tax free situation […] and the target is to slow down the climate crisis or avoid it, this feels really important even if this is just a small step, it is a step in the right direction” one of the citizen’s initiative organisers Janne Kilpinen told us in an interview in November.

The tax, levied per passenger, would bring Finland in line with Sweden where a tax between €6 and €40 is charged – and where there’s been a drop in the number of people taking flights recently.

What happens next in Parliament? 

Having completed the necessary paperwork, the petition now goes to Parliament committees for further discussion.

While the idea of a flight tax has a lot of support in Parliament, it’s not universal.

The Greens and Left Alliance are in favour of introducing such a tax, and Finns Party chairman Jussi Halla-aho has also spoken about how cheap it is to fly.

Although the citizens initiative was started by private individuals, it was financially supported by Friends of the Earth Finland, who helped develop a website for the effort.