United boss hit out at ‘damaging’ APD

A scathing attack on Air Passenger Duty has been launched by the boss of United Airlines.

Chief executive Jeff Smisek warned that high aviation taxes in the UK would see business being driven to other parts of Europe.

“There will always be services to the UK,” Smisek told the Daily Telegraph. “But there will be fewer services and fewer jobs. If you chose a tax to destroy an industry, APD is doing a pretty good job.”

Describing APD as irrational, Smisek also voiced fears of the growing tensions surrounding the EU’s attempts to force all airlines, including those from outside Europe, to buy carbon permits under the controversial emissions trading scheme.

The US Senate last month passed a bill which would effectively make it illegal for US carriers to co-operate with the ETS scheme.

Smisek said: “Nobody wants a trade war. We are complying with the ETS scheme. But we don’t want to be in a position where one state says you have to do one thing and another says you should do another.”

He voiced fears that the row could have serious implications for members of the EU.

“It could result in adverse consequences for the EU from other nations,” he told the newspaper.

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