Responding to todayâ€™s budget, Peel Airports, owners of Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, believes that the Government has yet again turned its back on an industry that has the ability to help kick-start regional and national economies by further increasing the damaging Air Passenger Duty (APD).
Craig Richmond CEO of Peel Airports Limited commented, â€œIt never ceases to amaze me that a Government that â€˜talks the talkâ€™ about a budget that backs business, can at the same time fail to â€˜walk the walkâ€™ by then doing the opposite.
We should be talking about scrapping APD completely if we want any chance of helping the aviation industry to generate improvements to the economy through more jobs, more investment and more visitors to the UK, yet here we are facing increases both this year and next. Our European competitors will undoubtedly be celebrating this news.â€
Peel Airports also echoed the sentiments of the CEOâ€™s of easyJet, Ryanair, IAG and Virgin Atlantic who have expressed their own dismay at the Chancellorâ€™s budget increases for APD.
Carolyn McCall of easyJet, Willie Walsh of IAG, Michael Oâ€™Leary of Ryanair and Steve Ridgeway of Virgin Atlantic, jointly said, â€œAt a time when the Government talks about creating jobs and growth, its blinkered insistence on further increases in Air Passenger Duty achieves precisely the opposite.
â€œYouth unemployment is at record levels. Inbound tourism is a major employer of young people, but international visitors are being turned off the UK because of the exorbitant level of APD – which is by far the highest air travel tax in the world.
Craig Richmond added, â€œWe strongly support these comments made by airline CEOâ€™s. APD will continue to damage the economy and the chances of turning the situation around in the short term.â€