The airlines association is wholly opposed to the tax. | Archive

The Spanish government's proposed green air tax will not be applied to flights to and from the Balearics and the Canaries. The minister of finance, María José Montero, has confirmed this in a letter to the president of the Canaries, Ángel Victor Torres. The tax, she says, will take the "insular aspect" into account.

The director general for ports and airports in the Balearics, Xavier Ramis, explains that talks with Madrid about the tax are ongoing. "It would affect the islands negatively. All indications are that the final draft will include exemptions for the Balearics and the Canaries."

The proposed tax has been greeted with total rejection by the ALA Spanish airlines association. "It would have an immediate effect in making tickets more expensive, especially for long-distance travel."

The president of the ALA, Javier Gandara of easyJet Spain and Portugal, argues that the tax "will be devastating for tourism, employment and air connectivity at a time when the industry is fighting for its survival". Instead of imposing more taxes, "government aid to companies should be used as an incentive to prevent a reduction in connectivity between European and Spanish destinations".

Business associations in the Balearics have been alarmed at the prospect of the air tax. The view is that airlines need to continue being helped by European funds, as - for the Balearics - they are the "tourism lifeline".