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Wed, Nov 23, 2016

U.K. Airports Association Says Airport Passengers Duties Are Too High

Calls For APD To Be Cut In Half To Make The U.K. 'More Competitive'

Ahead of its Autumn Statement, the Airport Operators Association (AOA) is calling on the U.K.Government to cut Airport Passenger Duty (APD) by 50% to make the U.K. more competitive internationally and demonstrate the U.K. is open for business.

The AOA says the U.K. currently has one of the highest APD rates in the world – double that of Germany, which is the next highest in Europe. This means that when airlines make their decisions on new routes, the U.K. has to work harder to convince airlines that a new route or higher frequencies on existing routes have a good business case.

The high rate of tax hurts tourism, business travel, and people seeking to visit friends and family abroad. Countries that have reduced or abolished their aviation taxes have reaped the benefits of better connectivity, lower fares and more economic growth.

“The U.K. begins its negotiations with the EU and trading nations across the globe from a position of fundamental economic strength," said AOA Chief Executive, Darren Caplan. In the coming years, it will become increasingly important to seize opportunities to consolidate and build on this strength. Having one of the highest rates of APD in the world clearly puts the U.K. at a competitive disadvantage globally.

“The vast majority of tourism and business travellers, and those visiting friends and family, travel to and from the U.K. by air, with imports and exports carried with them in the bellyhold of planes. Eye-wateringly high levels of APD are therefore a tax on both consumers and business, holding the U.K. back from realizing its full potential," he said.

“Halving APD is a realistic ‘ask’ of the Treasury, sending out a signal internationally and encouraging airlines to schedule more routes to the U.K. and fly more frequently on existing routes, boosting the U.K.’s connectivity," Caplan continued. "This call is also supported by ‘A Fair Tax on Flying’, the campaigning group comprising airports, airlines, and business, travel and tourism groups. We are all united in seeking ways to improve the U.K.’s future trading and tourism prospects, and so we urge the Government to send a clear signal of intent at the Autumn Statement that the U.K. is open for business by halving APD.”

(Source: AOA news release)

FMI: www.aoa.org.uk

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