Dart Group PLC News

Jet2.Com Calls For Halt To Further Rises In Air Passenger Duty

21st June 2011

  • UK, APD, by Far the highest in Europe and Likely to Damage Regional Economic Growth 

Jet2.com, the north’s leisure airline with friendly low fares, today launched a contemptuous attack on the coalition’s recently proposed reform of Air Passenger Duty, (APD) which could see the tax rise significantly in 2012. Following on from BAA’s calls for Scotland to devolve responsibility for its own aviation tax in order to promote regional business travel and tourism; Jet2.com has highlighted how hard regional airports and their passengers, particularly those in the north, will be hit, should these rises come to fruition.

Ian Doubtfire, Managing Director of Jet.com

Ian Doubtfire, managing director of Jet2.com said,

“The Government here already raises £2 billion a year from passengers and this is projected to rise to a staggering £3.6 billion in the future. Currently the UK is the only country in Europe to have such punitive taxes for air travel, with other countries either reducing or abolishing aviation taxes. We offer customers the opportunity to have a great flight experience at low fares from their local airport but the government seems hell bent on hitting people’s holidays in what is already a very tough time economically. We find it impossible to reconcile the coalition’s vision for an economic environment, in which the private sector can thrive, with its current proposals to increase APD again from 2012.”

Jet2.com supports the case that Northern Ireland and Scotland, in particular, will be hit severely by these huge increases, with an estimated loss in passenger spend alone of over £130 million in Scotland.  The airline is firmly of the opinion that the Scottish Government is best placed to determine the balance between APD and the economic benefits of aviation growth and therefore fully supports the devolution of the matter to the Scottish Government. Also devolving the APD issue in Northern Ireland would facilitate a level playing field between the airports of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Ian Doubtfire, concluded,

“When the Government came into power, it announced that it wanted to develop regional airports. We support regional airports in calling for lower rates of APD to enable them to develop new business and make tourism more attractive – both outbound and inbound. We would strongly recommend that the Government takes a more considered and practical approach to this stated vision, given the current economic environment; one which doesn’t discourage development.  In our industry flights can be made available for customers to book, as far in advance as eighteen months.  This allows travellers to get the best prices and plan their trips accordingly. The current decision to inflict such outrageous taxes so imminently shows little understanding of how the airline industry operates and its planning pressures. In the very least, we believe any changes shouldn’t happen until November 2012.

“In addition the Emissions Trading Scheme will kick in from 1 January 2012, therefore it is logical that APD, which is billed as ‘a green tax’, should be reduced on current rates and should definitely not be increased in the next budget.”

Jet2.com offers friendly low fares flights from 8 UK airports – flights can be booked at www.Jet2.com and package holidays at www.Jet2holidays.com.

Written by Will

Posted in

June 21, 2011 at 16:02

Tagged with Air Passenger Duty, Economic Growth