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Parliamentary questions
3 February 2006
WRITTEN QUESTION by Simon Busuttil (PPE‑DE) to the Commission

 Subject:  Air travel departure tax in Malta/free movement of persons

On 1 August 2005 the Government of Malta doubled the air travel passenger (departure) tax from EUR 23 (MTL 10) to EUR 46 (MTL 20). This tax applies to all flights commencing from Malta but not to flights commencing abroad. In other words, the tax is deliberately intended to apply to Maltese citizens travelling out of Malta rather than to tourists travelling into Malta.

Considering that Malta is an island state and that therefore air transport is the only true means of transport available for Maltese citizens who wish to travel within the EU;
considering further that one of the main pillars of EU law is the principle of ‘free movement of persons’ and that the Treaty now enshrines this principle not merely as a pillar of the internal market but also as a right that stems from EU citizenship; and
considering, moreover, that for Maltese citizens wishing to travel abroad, the price of an air ticket often doubles after adding departure and other taxes as well as other charges making the cost of air transport prohibitive, particularly for families with children;

does the Commission consider the Maltese air (departure) tax to be compatible with EU law, in particular with the principle of free movement of persons and with the rights that stem from EU citizenship?

 OJ C 328, 30/12/2006
Last updated: 22 March 2006Legal notice