AOA’s response to Chancellor’s failure to cut APD

The Airport Operators Association, which represents more than 50 UK airports, has responded to the Chancellor’s Budget Statement, which failed to cut Air Passenger Duty (APD).

The association’s Chief Executive, 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 of building the foundations of a stronger, fairer, more global Britain.

“That is why it is a missed opportunity for the Chancellor not to have cut Air Passenger Duty today and instead announcing another rise in line with RPI in 2018/19, on top of the RPI rise from April 2017. 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 have brought the UK into line with the next highest APD equivalent in the EU, in Germany. It would have encouraged airlines to schedule new routes between the UK and new destinations, including in emerging markets, by making those flights more economically viable. It would also have made boosting capacity on existing routes more attractive.

“Cutting APD will boost the UK’s international 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.”

AOA responds to Autumn Statement

The Airport Operators Association (AOA) – the trade association representing UK airports – has issued a statement highlighting its disappointment at the failure of the Chancellor to cut Airport Passenger Duty (APD) in his Autumn Statement.

AOA Chief Executive Darren Caplan said: “It is disappointing that the Chancellor has failed to seize the opportunity to cut Air Passenger Duty today and demonstrate that the UK is open for business by doing so. The UK’s APD is one of the highest air taxes in the world and with our nearest neighbours either charging nothing or less than half of what the UK levies, it harms our global competitiveness.

“The AOA will continue to make the case that APD is unfair on families and is a tax on the UK’s global competitiveness and connectivity. The vast majority of tourism and business travellers, and those visiting friends and family, travel to and from the UK by air, with 40% imports and exports by value carried with them in the belly hold of planes. APD therefore holds the UK back from realising its full economic potential.

“Halving APD would have sent out a signal internationally and encouraged airlines to schedule more routes to the UK and fly more frequently on existing routes, boosting the UK’s connectivity. We urge the Government to cut APD as a matter of urgency and by doing so open up new trading opportunities, including with emerging markets.

“We note that the Government has published a summary of responses to its consultation on how to support regional airports in England from the potential effects of APD devolution but has not announced its preferred course of action. The AOA is clear that a cut in APD anywhere in the UK should be matched, immediately, by a cut everywhere, so that no parts of the country are disadvantaged in any way. We call on the Treasury to publish a plan that sets out how and when this can be delivered.”

The UK is one of only six EU countries that imposes aviation taxes.