Airlines UK response to the 2017 Autumn Budget: Treasury sleight of hand on Air Passenger Duty rates is no way to make Britain Brexit ready

November 22nd, 2017

Responding to the announcement in the Budget that Air Passenger Duty rates will be frozen from 1 April 2019 for economy class passengers, to be paid for by an increase in the tax on premium class tickets, Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK, the industry association that represents UK carriers, said:

“The change announced today on APD is simply a sleight of hand move by the Treasury. The total tax take from APD is not being cut – currently at £3.3 billion, it will hit £4 billion a year in 2022/23 and remains the highest in the world, and is far more than those levied by our competitors, especially in Europe. Increasing the long-haul premium rate, however tempting for the Chancellor, potentially threatens the viability of some long-haul services that rely on non-economy class passengers. It also doesn’t do anything for the UK’s ability to open up new links to emerging markets, in particular from regional airports where such services are in short supply or non-existent. Post-Brexit this will be more important than ever and that’s why today is a massive missed opportunity.”