Adds context throughout
PARIS, Sept 28 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Air France AIRF.PA criticised on Thursday the French government's new tax on airport operators, arguing it created unfair competition in the sector.
Air France CEO Anne Rigail told RTL Radio that the tax was "not at all good news (...) as the airport operators will pass on this extra cost on airlines."
The government's 2024 budget bill, announced on Wednesday, introduced a new tax on road operators such as Vinci SGEF.PA and Eiffage FOUG.PA, as well as on airport operators such as ADP ADP.PA, that seeks to raise an estimated 600 million euros ($629.9 million) annually.
The tax on the transport sector is aimed at showing that the government is keen to protect the environment and tackle climate change, while also raising money for the French state.
ADP, which operates Paris' two main airports, said it would transfer part of this new tax to airlines, by raising the latter's fees over a two to three-year period.
Given that within the airport sector, this tax will principally hit ADP, Rigail deemed it unfair since smaller airports used by Air France's low-cost rival airlines would not be impacted in the same way.
"It poses problems for us. For us, it raises new competitive distortions which will hurt us," she said.
($1 = 0.9525 euros)
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Benoit Van Overstraeten and Jean-Stephane Brosse; Editing by Sharon Singleton)
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.