UK airlines urge political parties in Holyrood to support Air Passenger Duty reduction
May 26th, 2016
The British Air Transport Association (BATA), the trade body that represents UK-registered airlines, has urged political parties in Scotland to support the reduction of Air Passenger Duty (APD) by 50%. A consultation on plans by the Scottish Government to halve the tax, starting in April 2018, comes to an end next week (3 June), and UK carriers are calling for political parties in Holyrood to support the reduction when a vote ultimately comes before the Scottish Parliament. Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of BATA, said:
“UK rates of Air Passenger Duty are amongst the highest in the world and are increasingly acting as a break on economic growth. Reducing this damaging tax by 50% would increase Scotland’s connectivity and better enable it to compete with its closest rivals in Europe, who either refuse to levy APD at all or do so at a substantially lower rate.
“The advantages of halving APD in Scotland have been well documented – £1 billion added to the economy by 2020, nearly 4,000 jobs created and welcome support for the Scottish tourism industry. It’s clear that any loss in tax revenue would be more than offset by increases in activity elsewhere.
“As an industry we recognise that future growth in aviation must go hand-in-hand with action to tackle carbon emissions and noise. Since 2005 UK airlines have introduced hundreds of new, quieter planes into service, representing a capital spend of almost $50 billion. In addition to investing in new fuels and operating procedures this is helping to reduce fuel burn and minimise carbon emissions. We therefore believe that the additional activity generated as a result of any future APD reduction is not incompatible with delivering on our environmental obligations. We urge political parties of all persuasions to support this policy.”
26 May 2016