Read us | Listen to us | Watch us | Join Live Events | Turn Off Ads | Live |

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu

Spain to reward airlines for increased passenger numbers

00a_13
00a_13
Written by editor

MADRID — In a move to boost its flagging tourist industry, Spain announced Wednesday that airlines that increase passenger numbers in the first half the year would receive tax breaks in the second h

MADRID — In a move to boost its flagging tourist industry, Spain announced Wednesday that airlines that increase passenger numbers in the first half the year would receive tax breaks in the second half.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told parliament the measure was aimed at “supporting the tourism sector.”

He said airlines that increase passenger numbers in the first six months of 2009, compared to the second half of 2008, would see airport taxes cut by 100 percent for the rest of the year.

“It is an incentive measure to boost tourism and (the number of) passengers” since airlines will pass on the cuts to passengers, he said.

Transport Minister Jose Blanco said the measure would cost the country’s airports authority around 20 million euros (27 million dollars).

However, four Spanish airline associations released a joint statement condemning the measure as “discriminatory and confusing” and said it would “not have any positive effect” for Spanish carriers.

Spain is the world’s second biggest tourist destination after France.

The tourism sector accounts for about 11 percent of the country’s jobs and gross domestic product but the global economic crisis has hit the industry hard.

In the first quarter of 2009, tourist arrivals were down 16.3 percent at 8.9 million.