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France could lead way and make private jets use biofuel, says minister

He said the country should be more ambitious than simply banning – or imposing extra taxes – on such flights

There have been recent debates in France about whether private jets should be banned Pic: Aerodim / Shutterstock

Private jets should be powered by biofuel rather than be subject to extra taxes or even banned altogether, France’s Minister of Public Action and Accounts Gabriel Attal has said.

Mr Attal’s comments come on the back of a debate that broke out in France earlier this year over the use of private jets, with environmentalists calling for a ban on such flights and accusing the government of not doing enough to combat climate change.

Jean-Marc Zulesi, an MP and chairman of a commission focusing on sustainable development, tabled a proposal last week for the tax on jet fuel to be doubled. 

Mr Attal said the government wanted to go in this direction but also aimed to be more ambitious. 

“Rather than being the first [country] to ban or overtax [private] jets, let's be the first country to make them fly on biofuel,” he said. 

He said that an Airbus A380 successfully carried out a flight powered 100% on biofuel in March 2022. 

There is still debate about how green and environmentally friendly biofuels are. 

Nicolas Paulissen, the general delegate of the Union of French Airports (UAF), recently told The Connexion that he believes more in investing in technologies to “greenify” the sector, such as sustainable fuels, electric planes and hydrogen aircrafts than bans or extra taxes. 

People who take private jets can afford to pay for sustainable fuels

“The challenge facing airports today is the green energy transition. We need to speed this up. We need to work on decarbonisation of our activities,” he said. 

“The people who take these flights have the financial means to pay for sustainable aviation fuels.”

““If in the near future we are going to have hydrogen planes or electric aircrafts we need to at least start thinking about this right now. So, it’s now a question of investment.”

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