15 JULY 2019
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Speaking at an IATA briefing in London last week entitled UK Competitive Index and the Value of Aviation, chief economist Brian Pearce said London remains the best connected city in the world, ahead of Shanghai, New York and Tokyo.
However, he made it very clear the UK would need to work even harder post-Brexit to ensure it did not lose its standing in the world.
Pearce warned 120,000 jobs were at risk with an erosion of air transport competitiveness and by contrast 200,000 could be created by cost-effective runway expansion, visa process improvement and an Air Passenger Duty review.
Regional VP Rafael Schvartzman pointed out the UK is at the bottom of a group of 17 EU nations in terms of airport and passenger taxes and charges. IATA assigns the UK a score of 148 in terms of such costs — well behind second-placed nation Germany, with a score of 111, and Sweden, with 106.
By contrast, Finland has a score of just 23 on the scale, while the best country in terms of low charges is Poland, at 20.
On the day the French government proposed an eco-tax on all outbound air journeys, Pearce and Schvartzman said IATA is strongly in favour of offset payments, rather than more taxes, as a means of reducing aviation’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
(See also France APD plan condemned in this issue).
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