If you are an airline transporting passengers commercially from Germany, you must pay air traffic tax. Non-commercial passenger air traffic when transported by private persons as well as cargo flights are excluded from the tax. In principle, all departures by aircraft and rotorcraft from German airports are taxed. Taxpayers registered for air traffic tax (airlines or their tax representatives) must submit a monthly tax return. If you are not registered for the tax, you are obliged to submit the tax declaration immediately for each departure and to pay the tax immediately. The air traffic tax is assessed per passenger according to the distance to the destination and is divided into 3 distance classes. Distance class 1 includes the following objectives: Destinations within Germany Destinations in member states of the European Union (EU) Destinations in countries that are candidates for EU accession Destinations in member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and third countries within this distance range (in particular Turkey, Russia, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, United Kingdom). Distance class 2 includes the following objectives: Countries that do not fall into distance class 1 up to a distance of 6,000 kilometers (other North and Central African countries, Arab countries, Central Asian countries). Distance class 3 includes all other destinations not covered by distance classes 1 or 2. A complete list of countries belonging to distance classes 1 and 2 can be found in Annexes 1 and 2 of the Air Traffic Tax Act. The tax rates per distance class are adjusted annually. For so-called island flights, i.e. departures from domestic and to domestic, Danish or Dutch North Sea islands, a reduced tax rate applies. This is 20 per cent of the normal tax rate and applies if the islands are not connected to the mainland by a tide-independent road or rail link and if the point of departure or destination on the mainland is no further than on the mainland is no more than 100 kilometres from the coast as the crow flies, or is located on another domestic, Danish or Dutch North Sea island. In some cases, departures may be exempt from air transport tax. You can find out when the exemption applies on the Customs website.