Airlines lobby for ‘clear roadmap’ to APD abolition

Airlines are demanding a “clear roadmap” from government to cut and then abolish Air Passenger Duty.

The call is among a detailed series of ‘asks’ put forward by Airlines UK, the industry association that represents 13 UK-registered carriers.

It comes ahead of the deadline for submitting responses to the government’s aviation strategy green paper.

The airline trade body believes competitiveness would be strengthened with other countries with the eventual abolition of the “negative impact of APD on economic growth and route connectivity”.

Any new measures to address airline insolvency should be “proportionate to the actual risk to customers of being affected”, and avoid introducing unnecessary market distortion such as a levy – as has been proposed.

This comes alongside support for a third runway at Heathrow with no additional costs to airlines whileensuring any domestic slots that are not used are available for general use.

Airport expansion should be supported where it is needed, provided it is privately funded and that airport charges do not increase and operational resilience is built in.

“This support must be contingent upon the UK being able to meet its commitments on carbon reduction,” Airlines UK added.

The strategy should strive to make the UK a world-leader in the use of sustainable aviation fuels and boost support for research and investment in new technology while also fully modernising airspace by 2025.

Support an approach to noise that fully implements the Balanced Approach and is far more proactive in ensuring

Local planning decisions – in particular on housing – should be consistent with the needs of a growing airport over their noise footprint.

Any future ‘Passenger Charter’ needs to be developed collaboratively with the sector and prioritises best practice, voluntary commitments, ensuring there is no confusion with existing legal airline obligations.

Alcohol licensing airside at international airports should be introduced with ”robust legal mechanisms” to help prevent disruptive passenger behaviour.

Miniature bottles of alcohol from all duty free shops airside at airports should be outlawed while making the use of sealed bags for alcohol purchases mandatory.

The behaviour and business practices of claims management companies should be reviewed with respect to passenger compensation.

Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade said:“Airlines believe we need a strategy that meets the government’s stated ambition of promoting sustainable growth for our sector, which makes such a vital contribution to the UK’s social and economic life.

“We understand aviation has to earn the right to expand and that’s why we’re committed to halving our emissions by 2050, and working with national governments to agree an ambitious plan that can deliver a zero carbon future.

“We want to continue connecting families and businesses across the regions and to the world, delivering excellent value for money, and doing more to make air travel accessible for passengers.

“Provided it can be delivered sustainably, we also support additional capacity where it is needed, as long as operational resilience is prioritised and it does not lead to higher charges for passengers and cargo operators.”


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