Pricing for sustainability: Analysing the demand-side steering effect of a flight ticket levy in Switzerland.
In June 2020, a majority of the Swiss parliament voted in favour of the introduction of a flight ticket levy as a part of a revision of the federal law on greenhouse gas emissions (CO2 law). The aim of this incentive tax was to reduce the demand for flights in Switzerland and thereby the CO2 emissions gener-ated by the commercial aviation sector. However, there is controversy as to the effectiveness of this measure, as critics have often argued that travellers would circumvent it by using foreign departure air-ports and thus generate more CO2 emissions than before. Given that no research has considered the interaction between a flight ticket levy and such evasive behaviour in Switzerland, this paper addresses this research gap. Through a choice-based conjoint analysis, this paper examines the effect of the flight ticket levy on Swiss citizens’ airport choice behaviour for short-haul economy class flights. The results indicate that introducing a flight ticket levy would only impact the choice of departure airport if it were to significantly exceed the planned level of CHF 30 in the short-haul context. Additionally, the paper demonstrates that only a small number of Swiss passengers are likely to avoid the levy by using foreign airports. A flight ticket levy of CHF 120 in the context of this study would lead to a decrease in travel-ling passengers rather than to environmentally harmful evasive behaviour.
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Air Transport Research Society Conference 2022