Travel and airline industry insiders are looking to call on the Chancellor of The Exchequer to take the chance in this pre-Brexit era to make a cut to Airline Passenger Duty (APD).
Organisations like the Airport Operators Association’s (AOA) who have their annual conference which opened today [Monday 29 October 2018] are calling on Philip Hammond to seize the opportunity to cut Airline Passenger Duty (APD) by as much as 50%.
Growth in passengers has been reported as steady in recent years. However last year the UK was the only EU country to see direct connectivity decline by 0.8%.
As the UK is preparing for Brexit Mr Hammond it hopes should seize the opportunity to cut APD by 50% so that UK airports can compete on a level playing field with our European neighbours says the AOA.
With only six other EU countries charging departure tax, the highest of which is levied in Germany but even that is less than half the rate of the current UK’s APD tax.
The AOA says, this is hampering the UK’s ability to compete for new routes, with airlines preferring to fly to countries that charge low and in a number of cases no aviation taxes at all.
The UK aviation industry has the chance at the AOA annual conference to come together to discuss many aspects about the future of UK aviation.
It reports that airports stand ready to meet the growing demand from consumers and businesses alike as part of the Government’s ‘Global Britain’ ambitions, but this has to be delivered in partnership with Government.
The Government’s planned Aviation Strategy will be a focal topic at the conference, with a call from industry for a strategy to give UK aviation the tools necessary to prepare and build for the future after Brexit. This includes a framework for sustainable aviation capacity growth and improved surface transport to airports.
CEO of the AOA, Karen Dee said; “The UK aviation industry is working hard to deliver the services passengers want. But we’re being hampered in our efforts by the anti-competitive Air Passenger Duty. The Government should take urgent action in today’s Budget to ensure the UK has the direct aviation connectivity needed for our economy and our ambition to be a Global Britain.”
“Cutting Air Passenger Duty in half to match Germany’s tax is one of the quickest ways to boost connectivity growth.”
She added, “Not only should the Chancellor take action on APD, the Government should ensure that Border Force has the necessary resources to deliver a secure but welcoming border, with dramatically shorter queues.”
The two day conference at County Hall in London is attended by representatives from UK airports, construction, infrastructure sector companies and transport media journalists.
APD charges are divided into different bands:
Band A from 0 to 2000 miles from London band B from 2001 miles upwards maxing out at £150