Chancellor needs to take lead on APD cut

Responding to the Scottish Government’s announcement on its replacement for Air Passenger Duty (APD), Air Departure Tax (ADT), Chief Executive of the AOA, Karen Dee said:

“While it is welcome that the Scottish Government has recognised that Air Passenger Duty acts as a break on connectivity and thus economic growth and job creation, an ADT cut in Scotland would come at the expense of the economy in the rest of the UK.

“That is why the AOA believes that any cut in APD, anywhere in the UK, should immediately be matched by a cut throughout the rest of the UK. This is the only way to prevent unfair competitive distortions within the UK.

“This does not take away from the fact that all airports in the UK are already losing out in the competition for new airline routes to our European neighbours due to APD. Our trading rival Germany charges the next highest air passenger tax in the EU – but at less than half the UK’s rate. This means they are a more attractive destination for new routes than the UK is, particular to emerging markets.

“The UK will need excellent aviation links to existing and emerging markets to make the Government’s ambition of a ‘global Britain’ a reality. The Chancellor now needs to take a lead for the whole of the UK and make a decisive cut of at least 50% in APD rates to bring us into line with our competitors and help to get the whole of the UK Brexit-ready.”