Disappointing the Chancellor failed to cut APD

Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget Statement, Chief Executive of the AOA, Karen Dee said:

“Airports provide the necessary infrastructure for the UK’s international connectivity, with aviation the transport mode of choice for most people travelling to and from the UK and for 40% of the UK’s trade. Boosting that international connectivity through unlocking new destinations will be crucial to achieve the Chancellor’s aim to build the foundations of a stronger, fairer, more global Britain.

“That is why it is a missed opportunity for the Chancellor not to have seized the opportunity to cut Air Passenger Duty and instead announcing another rise in line with RPI in 2018/19, on top of the RPI rise from this April. The UK’s APD is already one of the highest air taxes in the world. With most of our nearest neighbours either charging nothing or less than half of what the UK levies, APD is a tax on the UK’s global competitiveness and connectivity.

“Halving APD, as the AOA had called for alongside A Fair Tax on Flying campaign partners, would halve encouraged airlines to schedule new routes to and from the UK by making the business case for flights to new destinations, including in emerging markets, more economically viable. It would also have made extra capacity on existing routes more attractive to airlines.

“Cutting APD would have boosted the UK’s connectivity and we urge the Chancellor to take action at the first available opportunity. We also continue to urge the Chancellor to make clear that any cut in any part of the UK would immediately be matched across the rest of the UK.”