Reports that the UK will replace its existing and airline passenger duty with another tax, a per-aircraft-flight fee, drew fire from the Air Transport Association (ATA) last week.
“Once again, airlines, their customers and the communities that they serve are at the mercy of political forces beyond their control,” the ATA said. “Further burdening air transportation with another tax puts the well-being of our customers at risk. The simple reality is that this is not a “green” proposal, it is a plan to financially penalize airlines and thereby force them to cut back air services that passengers and shippers want.
“Stubbornly high fuel prices, inefficient air traffic control systems and dismal financial results mean that airlines have strong incentives to schedule their flights as efficiently as possible and reduce the consumption of jet fuel,” the ATA continued. “The result is an unrelenting focus on efficiency that has produced an extraordinary environmental record, which dates back decades. That commitment continues today as evidenced, by our ongoing involvement in the development of alternative jet fuels. What the airline industry needs is government policies that encourage more investments that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not punitive taxes that stifle investment in technology and upgrades.”