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European Union Court of Justice – VAT taxation of unused local flight tickets

EUCJ has explained, that the issue by an airline company of tickets is subject to value added tax where the tickets have not been used by passengers and the latter are unable to obtain a refund for those tickets. The amount retained by the airline company is not intended to compensate for possible harm suffered by the company as a result of a passenger’s ‘no-show’, but constitutes remuneration, even where the passenger did not benefit from the transport.

In the event that a third party sells an airline company’s tickets on behalf of that company in the context of a franchise agreement and pays that company, in respect of tickets issued and no longer valid, a lump sum calculated as a percentage of the annual turnover from the corresponding flight routes, that sum constitutes a taxable amount as consideration for those tickets as there is a direct link between the performance of the services provided and the remuneration received in that regard.


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