Lobby group pressures government to abolish Air Passenger Duty

A4E-airlines-for-europe-association-logoUK. The Airlines for Europe (A4E) alliance has called on the UK government to abolish Air Passenger Duty (APD) in an effort to boost tourism.

Speaking this week at the Global Aviation Festival in London, A4E Managing Director Thomas Reynaert said: “It’s time for the UK government to get rid of this tax which punishes business and consumers.”

The A4E alliance, which includes Lufthansa, Air France-KLM, the International Airline Group (parent company of British Airways and Iberia), and budget carriers EasyJet, Ryanair and Norwegian, was formed earlier this year. A4E has the issue of anti-competitive aviation taxes in Europe as one of its key policy priorities.

Reynaert, along with A4E member airline CEOs Carolyn McCall (easyJet), Willie Walsh (IAG) and Bjørn Kjos (Norwegian), presented research which indicated the “damaging” effects of APD and the benefits of removing the tax.

“The UK has the highest aviation tax worldwide. This puts it at a competitive disadvantage as other European hubs take traffic and business away from the UK precisely because of APD,” Reynaert said.

“Following the vote to leave the European Union every effort should be made to ensure the UK economy improves its competitiveness and secures its position as a worldwide trading nation.”

“To make Britain more attractive, accessible and welcoming to visitors it is best to eliminate this tax,” says Airlines for Europe Managing Director Thomas Reynaert

A4e noted that when the ADP tax was introduced 21 years ago it aimed to raise £330 million per year for the Treasury. The alliance claims that passengers have paid more than £31 billion in 21 years, and the cost of the tax had risen +824% by 2015.

Removing APD would offer a “clear boost to UK jobs and the British economy”, the alliance stated.

“We, the airlines serving the British market, can wholeheartedly sign up to the Prime Minister’s latest statements during the release of the Tourism Action Plan. To make Britain more attractive, accessible and welcoming to visitors it is best to eliminate this tax,” Reynaert added.

A4E noted action taken by other European countries regarding passenger taxes and highlighted the decision by the Dutch government to remove its ticket tax in 2009.

Changes to airport taxes in Ireland, Scotland and Norway were also noted with A4E emphasising the Italian government’s decision to suspend a local aviation tax increase after just seven months.


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