Government Ministers have confirmed they will not be scrapping the controversial Air Passenger Duty tax (APD) at Cardiff Airport.
The decision has been made to secure jobs and the economy at neighbouring Bristol Airport.
Ministers believe that by scrapping the tax could cost Bristol Airport around £843 million and over 1,500 jobs as passengers would ultimately choose to fly from Cardiff instead of Bristol if costs were considerably cheaper.
What’s more, a major concern was that airlines would then deflect Cardiff if passenger numbers at Bristol declined – around a third of lost passengers by 2020 was estimated.
The Wales Bill to Parliament was announced this week to the Welsh Assembly. The new was followed by much celebration by local business leaders and Bristol Airport officials.
However, not everyone was so pleased. Junior Welsh Minister, Guto Bebb, said, “The fact that we are not proposing to devolve it has been criticised, although I think that that is right and proper.
There is a need to devolve provisions for long-haul passengers, but there has been no consensus on that issue. I also ask what benefits such a measure would bring to north Wales in terms of the impact on the Welsh devolution financial settlement. At this time I think it is the right decision not to devolve air passenger duty, and I am happy to stand by that.”