2 MARCH 2020
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Britain’s airlines and airports issued a renewed joint call last week for decisive action in the forthcoming Budget on Air Passenger Duty (APD), citing a report from Airports Council International (ACI) showing the UK is the only European country to have seen direct connectivity decline two years in a row.
In a message to chancellor Rishi Sunak, chief executives Tim Alderslade of Airlines UK and Karen Dee of the Airport Operators Association said UK businesses were missing out on “vital connectivity” necessary to build post-Brexit trading relationships.
“UK regions are missing out especially, including in their domestic connectivity,” they added. “The chancellor should use the ongoing APD review to end our sky-high aviation taxes so UK aviation can genuinely compete with Germany, France and other EU countries.”
The result, they said, would be that airlines would respond with more routes and greater investment in the regions of the UK, which would enable airports to help level up their regions.
Only six other EU countries have a departure tax similar to APD, with Germany levying the next highest at around half the UK rate. France levies a number of aviation taxes which total about a quarter the UK rate.
The Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands, both with major airports that act as hubs for UK traffic, do not levy aviation taxes.
KAREN DEE WILL BE 'ON THE SOAPBOX' NEXT MONDAY WHICH COINCIDES WITH THE AOA ANNUAL DINNER AT LONDON'S GROSVENIOR HOUSE. GUEST OF HONOUR IS THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR TRANSPORT GRANT SHAPPS.
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