France is calling for the cost of British flights to mainland Europe to increase in a major blow to UK holidaymakers.
Transport Minister Clement Beaune, who locked horns with British counterparts as France’s European Affairs Secretary over Brexit, revealed he will submit such proposals to counterparts in the EU in the coming days.
He told L’Obs: “Plane tickets for €10 when we’re in the midst of the ecological transition, that’s no longer possible.”
Beaune added: “That doesn’t reflect the price for the planet.”
An image of French Transport Minister Clement Beaune
Low-budget airlines have established themselves as the go-to way for millions of Britons to visit the continent during the summer holidays.
Ryanair emerged as the region’s largest airline, offering flights to Alicante for less than £25.
However, travelling by plane often emits more greenhouse gases than crossing the Channel by train.
Beaune explained: “I openly call for taxing polluting activities to invest in the ecological transition.”
Passengers queuing to board Ryanair planes at Stansted Airport, EssexPA
He also suggested Paris could increase the tax on departing flights in an attempt to fund rail investments.
France 2024 budget, which is being unveiled at the end of the month, will likely include increased levies on companies managing French highways and on airline tickets.
Airlines have been the source of recent controversy on the other side of the Channel, with France’s largest union for air traffic controllers calling for strikes on September 15.
However, Beaune’s comments come as a further blow to Britons hoping to visit the continent.
Councils across France have been allowed to hike residence tax bills on Britons owning second-homes by as much as 60 per cent.
French President Emmanuel Macron Reuters
The average bill last year stood at €772 (£660) for a house and €941 (£800) for a flat.
A 60 per cent increase would mean second home owners would be paying more than €1,200 (£1,027) and €1,500 (£1,284) on their houses and flats respectively.
The decision will add further frustrations to many of the 86,000 British households who own second homes on the other side of the Channel.
Post-Brexit restrictions also mean Britons can only stay for 90 days in a 180-day period.