British Air Transport Association responds to the Conservative Party manifesto

April 14th, 2015

Responding to the publication of the Conservative Party manifesto, Nathan Stower, Chief Executive of the British Air Transport Association (BATA) said:

“I welcome the Conservatives’ support for tourism and their commitment to simplify and speed up visa issuance for tourists. Visa application processes, wait times, information requirements and fees should be regularly reviewed and adjusted to be made competitive with other visa regimes such as Schengen. This is particularly important if the UK is to attract more visitors from important growth countries like China and India.

“It is disappointing that the Conservatives have missed an opportunity to set a new course on Air Passenger Duty. If you want to increase exports, expand inbound tourism and encourage UK businesses to invest and grow, it makes no sense to keep the highest tax on air travel in the world. With devolution of powers over APD planned for Scotland and being considered for Wales, a Conservative Government should avoid unnecessary complication and boost the UK economy as a whole by abolishing APD in the new Parliament.”

Last month BATA published a manifesto on behalf of UK airlines. Ready for take off: our priorities for the new Parliament sets out the vitally important economic and social contribution that UK airlines make to national life. Five key policy areas are identified where action is required in the next Parliament.

  • Tax – abolition of Air Passenger Duty to transform the UK’s competitive position, lower the cost of flying and deliver significant benefits to the economy
  • Airport capacity – the green light for new runway capacity without imposing pre-funding on today’s passengers, alongside further improvements to surface access to support airline growth at other airports.
  • Sustainability – including support for the commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuels and controlling development near airports to support the industry’s actions in limiting the number of people seriously affected by noise.
  • Border & Visas – keep Britain open for business and tourists whilst protecting the border, including providing Border Force with the resources it needs to maintain service levels and the need to make further progress on visa accessibility and competitiveness.
  • Protecting passengers – secure lasting reform to European law to deliver clearer consumer rights and support industry progress in improving the passenger experience for persons with reduced mobility.


14th April 2015