Flybe Pushes For Tax Reform

UK REGIONAL carrier Flybe has called on the UK Government to reform the controversial Air Passenger Duty (APD) – under current rules, passengers flying domestically and regionally pay twice as much duty as those travelling abroad.
In a speech to 50 Members of Parliament assembled at the British Air Transport Association, Flybe UK Managing Director Andrew Strong placed emphasis on the importance of aviation to the recovery of the British economy.
“Those of us who live and work outside of London are fully behind the government’s policy to geographically re-balance the economy and I believe that regional aviation can play a crucial role,” Strong commented.  “In 2010, some 86 million people flew from regional airports.  At present, the domestic passenger suffers what has been coined the ‘double-dip’ where UK domestic flyers pay APD twice and those flying abroad pay just once.  This is because APD only applies to outbound flights from the UK.  It is frankly scandalous that a return passenger travelling between Glasgow and Belfast City, some 100 miles, pays double the tax of someone flying between Glasgow and Dalaman in Eastern Turkey, a flight of more than 2,000 miles.”
Strong highlighted the recent decision to reduce APD for passengers travelling internationally from Belfast as an indication that the duty is adversely affecting the economy.  “Be under no illusion – APD damages the UK economy.  That’s why regional airports and airlines welcome the Chancellor’s decision to reduce the APD paid by passengers travelling from Belfast International to the US.  It is a clear acknowledgement that tax affects the viability of air services and we look forward to hearing the Treasury’s plans for the rest of the UK.  Aviation is a British success story and we need government’s help to keep it that way.”