The Malta Business Aviation Association (MBAA) adamantly opposes any imposition of additional taxes on the aviation industry. The imposition of additional taxation fundamentally contradicts the principle of freedom of movement within the European Union.

The aviation industry contributes less than 4% to the total CO₂-emissions produced in the European Union, with business aviation contributing to less than 2% of that figure. These verifiable statistics, readily accessible from reputable sources such as the European Union and Eurocontrol, do not absolve business aviation from responsibility, and we do not contest these facts. Conversely, the business aviation sector has long been committed to enhancing flight efficiency, predating widespread awareness of carbon footprints.

For instance, the integration of winglet technology into aircraft, pioneered in business aviation as early as the 1980s, now stands as a ubiquitous feature in commercial airliners, reducing fuel consumption by up to 7%. It’s worth noting that innovative technologies often undergo initial testing and refinement in smaller-scale applications, akin to the current exploration of electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft. The European Union should actively support and encourage such innovations, rather than hinder them through taxation.

From a local standpoint, business aviation directly injects over a quarter of a billion Euros into the economy and employs over half of the aviation industry’s workforce in Malta. Given Malta’s reliance on service-based industries like finance, shipping, gaming, and aviation, fostering an environment conducive to foreign investment is paramount. It is counterproductive to deter potential investors by imposing barriers to travel through the imposition pre-emptive taxation.

Notwithstanding that business aviation represents less than 7% of total air traffic, business aviation in Malta serves 99% more city pairs, demonstrating its efficiency in reducing carbon emissions through direct flights. The logic is straightforward: flying direct minimizes the carbon footprint.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is now a receding memory, it’s worth reminding individuals like Dr. Arnold Cassola that the first vaccines arrived in Malta via business jet, not by conventional means. Business aviation constitutes the largest segment of Malta’s aviation industry in terms of registered aircraft and employment, with over 3,000 individuals directly benefiting from its operations.

The MBAA hopes that amidst the allure of populist rhetoric, our local policymakers grasp the repercussions of impeding freedom of movement and unfairly targeting specific industries and segments of society. Prioritizing populism over prudent, sustainable policymaking is neither wise nor viable in the long run.

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