Continuing decline in direct aviation connectivity wake-up call for UK

The UK’s direct aviation connectivity has declined for a second year in a row, according to a report released today by European airport trade association ACI EUROPE. The UK was the only major European economy to see a decline in direct connectivity. The -0.8% decline in direct connectivity this year followed a similar decline of -0.8% in 2018. The UK Airport Operators Association (AOA) believes this should be a wake-up call for the UK Government as it prepares its Aviation Strategy White Paper.

Chief Executive of the AOA, Karen Dee said:

“The connectivity growth figures show that while more UK passengers are flying, the destinations they’re able to travel to directly is shrinking.

“The Government should take urgent action to ensure its planned Aviation Strategy enables aviation to deliver the direct aviation connectivity needed for our economy and for our ambition to be a Global Britain.

“The Aviation Strategy should provide a framework that enables all UK airports to grow sustainably, both in terms of how we can make best use of existing infrastructure as well as new runways and terminals.

“It must also address the fact that UK Air Passenger Duty is the highest aviation tax in the developed world – double that of Germany, the next highest such tax in the EU. Cutting APD in half to match Germany’s tax is one of the quickest ways to boost direct connectivity growth.”