APD cuts in Northern Ireland should be matched across the UK

Commenting on media reports that the DUP has demanded an end to Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Northern Ireland as part of its support for the UK Government, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association (AOA) Karen Dee said:

“APD is one of the highest aviation taxes in the world and the highest in Europe. It is damaging Britain’s ability to attract flights to new destinations and expand existing routes, which is crucial to deliver on the Government’s ambition to create a truly global Britain.

“While it is welcome that political parties in Northern Ireland and Scotland have recognised the adverse impact APD has and are committed to reducing APD, the AOA is clear that any cut in APD in one part of the UK should be immediately matched everywhere else in the UK.

“Different rates of APD would introduce regional distortions that would damage regional economies. We are already seeing UK airports losing out when competing for airlines’ new routes to competitors from airports in other European countries that charge no or low aviation taxes. We should not introduce such competition within the UK and see one region losing connectivity to another.”