Forecasting the Impact of a Ticket Tax in the Netherlands

Forecasting the Impact of a Ticket Tax in the Netherlands


M Kouwenhoven, E Kroes, Significance, NL; J Veldhuis, SEO Economic Research, NL


From July 2008, passengers departing from any airport in the Netherlands have to pay a ticket tax. This paper presents a study of the effects of this new tax, any of several alternative implementations that were considered.


When the current Dutch coalition government was formed, it was decided that 350m euro/year should be raised by imposing a tax on air tickets, but is was not yet decided how exactly this should be implemented.

Several options were considered: to put a tax on all passengers (transfer and departing/arriving passengers), on freight or on each aircraft movement. The effects of each of the implementations under consideration were studied with the help of a strategic air travel model: Aeolus.

Aeolus (originally named ACCM: Airport Catchment area and Competition Model) was developed over the last few years in order to forecast passenger numbers at Schiphol airport under different scenario assumptions. This model includes competition effects from airports in the neighbourhood, including in other countries.

Many different implementations were considered. These implementations differed in the segments that should pay tax (transfer passengers and/or departing/arriving passengers and/or freight) and whether the tax was flat, or was differentiated by destination (Europe or intercontinental).

The study showed that if a tax was put on the transfer passengers and/or freight, the impacts were very strong (decrease of number of passengers and/or amount of freight of up to 30%). Putting a tax on only departing/arriving passengers has a slightly more moderate impact on passenger numbers. If the tax is differentiated by destinations the impact on regional airports is mitigated compared to a flat tax.

Finally, the government decided to put a tax on departing passengers only: ?11,25 per departure for European destinations and ? 45 for intercontinental destinations. It is expected that this will result in a two or three year stagnation of passenger growth at Schiphol, before the normal growth recommences. In total, the number of passengers is expected to drop by about 9% compared to a situation without a ticket tax.


Association for European Transport