EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall appealed directly to transport secretary Justine Greening and tourism minister John Penrose last night, asking for backing for an independent review of Air Passenger Duty (APD).
Addressing the ministers and MPs at a parliamentary reception hosted by easyJet, McCall said: “The effect of APD is extremely negative on people coming to and leaving from the UK. It is bad for passengers and bad for the economy. I urge the government to look at it again.”
She told Greening: “It is very unusual for the major airlines to agree on anything, but we are asking for an independent, economic review that looks at the costs and benefits of APD [to the Treasury].”
McCall added: “We will abide by the findings.” Appealing to MPs, she said: “If any of you can do anything to help on this, it would be great.”
The easyJet boss added: “One final plea: please look at the queues at immigration. It is one of the top things our passengers find difficult about air travel.”
Greening told McCall and other industry representatives: “Day to day this industry is really playing its part in getting the economy back on its feet, and I know there has never been a more important time in aviation.
“We are determined to work across government to help make a success of your industry.”
The secretary of state added: “I look forward to continuing to engage with easyJet, one of the largest members of the industry, for whom I have an enormous amount of respect.”