By Patrick Appleton
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned that a passenger carbon tax in Switzerland could result in the loss of thousands of jobs.
The comments come following the publication of an IATA report which said Switzerland’s aviation industry could generate an additional 36,000 jobs and almost CHF13 billion in extra GDP by 2037 if “an agenda for competitiveness” is pursued.
IATA’s analysis, Switzerland Air Transport Regulatory Competitiveness Indicators, recommended cost-effective expansion of Zurich and Geneva airports and support for the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
The Swiss government should focus on encouraging investment in sustainable fuels and more efficient air traffic control routes, rather than a passenger tax
Switzerland’s upper house, the Council of States, is due to consider proposals in the coming months that could see charges of at least CHF12 per passenger applied to offset emissions.
IATA’s research found that 3000 jobs could be lost if the decision goes ahead, and Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe said implementing such a tax would be misguided.
“Environmental sustainability is a key priority for the aviation industry,” said Schvartzman.
“We’re making great progress reducing emissions and with the CORSIA offsetting scheme, we can deliver carbon-neutral growth.
“The Swiss government should focus on encouraging investment in sustainable fuels and more efficient air traffic control routes, rather than a passenger tax.”
At present, air transport supports nearly 207,000 jobs and contributes CHF 27.7 billion to the economy, accounting for 4.1% of Switzerland’s GDP.
IATA’s report said that government support for aviation growth could add 36,000 jobs and CHF13 billion to the economy by 2037.
In contrast, the organization warned that 13,000 jobs could be lost over the same period if measures that inhibit competitiveness are adopted.
“Scrapping the tax proposal and ensuring that the nation’s airports operate efficiently will ensure air transport delivers even greater benefits to Switzerland in the years to come,” Schvartzman added.