Airline bosses urge government to scrap air passenger duty

23 November 2016 08:17

The chief executives of IAG, easyJet and Ryanair say scrapping the tax will boost economic growth, business and tourism

The chief executives of IAG, easyJet and Ryanair say scrapping the tax will boost economic growth, business and tourism

Top airline bosses are urging the government to scrap air passenger duty ahead of Wednesday's Autumn Statement.

The chief executives of IAG, easyJet and Ryanair are calling on the controversial tax to be scrapped to help boost economic growth, business and tourism.

Thousands of jobs could be created

Under the umbrella group Airlines for Europe (A4E), Willie Walsh, Carolyn McCall and Michael O'Leary have issued a statement saying the removal of the tax is needed to strengthen global business links post-Brexit, saying its removal would boost GDP by 1.7% and create 61,000 new jobs by 2020.

The Airport Operators Association and cross-party MPs who make up the British Infrastructure Group are also calling for an end to the tax.

Tax is set to rise

Short-haul passengers are currently charged £13 for every flight leaving from the UK, while long-haul passengers are charged £146. This fee is set to increase to up to £150 next April.

Mr Walsh said: "APD damages the UK's competitiveness and jobs. It's a revenue-raising tax designed to suppress air transport growth which is exactly what the economy does not need right now.

"Britain spends many millions of pounds attracting people to the country, only to charge them up to £146 when they leave."

The IAG chief says other countries which have scrapped their aviation taxes have seen an immediate boost to their GDP and tourism.

"Why saddle businesses and tourists with a tax that your European competitors do not have?" he added. "APD is well past its sell-by date and must be scrapped."

Ms McCall says Easyjet want the UK to be "open for business".

"Removing APD, a tax on passengers that suffocates demand, would certainly stimulate economic growth and make travel easier and more affordable," she said. "There is so much evidence to support this in other countries."

Travellers with flights booked should make sure they take out travel insurance so they are protected against flight delays and cancellations.

 

 

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