With Brexit looming, UK airport route development efforts are being hampered by the burdensome Air Passenger Duty (APD), according to Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association (AOA).
Speaking at the annual AOA conference, which coincided with the Autumn Budget from the UK government on 29 October, Dee described APD as an insurmountable obstacle to boosting air travel. The AOA reported the UK was the only EU country in 2017 where connectivity dropped (by 0.8%).
“The UK aviation industry is working hard to deliver the services passengers want,” Dee said. “But we’re being hampered in our efforts by the anti-competitive Air Passenger Duty. The government should take urgent action … to ensure the UK has the direct aviation connectivity needed for our economy and our ambition to be a Global Britain.”
In the event, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond froze APD on short-haul flights but raised it on long-haul routes, prompting Dee to criticise “a missed opportunity to get the UK Brexit-ready and signal to the world we are open for business”.
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