The Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade body which represents UK airports, has responded to confirmation in today’s Budget that Air Passenger Duty (APD) is set to rise again from 1 April 2013.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the AOA, said: “These year-on-year rises in APD are fundamentally damaging to the UK’s global competitiveness. The recent World Economic Forum statistics showed we are now 139th out of 140 countries in the world for ticket taxes and airport charges (only Chad is placed lower), and our eye-wateringly high levels of APD already mean we pay the highest passenger tax on flying in the world – and this is not disputed by anyone in Government. Only a handful of countries in the EU tax passengers on their international air travel at all – today’s announcement makes the UK even more internationally uncompetitive.”
APD has increased between 160% and 360% (depending on flight distance) in the UK since 2007 and its top rate is 8.5 times the average of those other countries in Europe which still levy a charge. Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark have all abandoned their aviation taxes, citing the negative effects on their economies.