Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade group for U.S. airlines and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) are among the major industry groups opposing the United Kingdom’s increase to the Air Passenger Duty (APD) by 2.5 percent.
The APD is the largest single tax passengers face anywhere in the world, with the increase, amounting to about $107 for economy tickets and $215 on all other cabins for flights to the United States, A4A reports.
“Increasing this already oppressive tax depresses the demand for air travel to and from the UK and unfairly penalizes airline customers,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “Air transportation is an indispensable engine of economic growth, and if the UK wants to encourage travel and tourism spending, it should abolish - not increase - this tax.”
Increasing the APD is at odds with the UK government’s stated goal of attracting an additional 10 million new passengers by 2020 and to enhance the competitiveness of the UK economy, A4A says. A4A said it joins the 300,000 individuals and companies and 100 Members of Parliament in calling on the UK Government to urgently review the APD.
Research conducted for WTTC by Oxford Economics earlier this year shows that removing the Air Passenger Duty would result in an additional 91,000 British jobs being created and £4.2 billion added to the economy in 12 months, the WTTC said is a statement.
David Scowsill, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Travel & Tourism, of which aviation is the fundamental driver for the UK, generates 2.3 million jobs and contributes over $100 billion to the UK economy every year. While the UK Chancellor’s statement stresses the need for the UK economy to find growth opportunities, he has chosen to further tax an industry that helps to sustain millions of jobs in the UK. "
"This tax is damaging the economy at a crucial time, and is having a negative effect on trade with countries in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. Rather than recognizing the impact of APD on the overall economy and reducing Air Passenger Duty, the UK has opted to further harm the economy and prevent job creation,” Scowsill said.