Virgin Atlantic chief moots APD cut for kids

Virgin Atlantic chief executive Craig Kreeger has called for the rate of Air Passenger Duty to be reduced for children under 12. 

Speaking at a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast, Kreeger said there had been a collective failure by the industry to communicate the part aviation plays in economic growth and in creating a “better multicultural country”.

Kreeger said he was encouraged by the government’s decision to move all long-haul flights into band B, but added: “There’s plenty of room for continued decrease and freezing, and we’ll continue to be activists in that space.

“I wish I could tell you that I saw an easy path to getting significant change.”

Kreeger said Virgin Atlantic was proposing ideas for smaller changes that could encourage the government to reduce the tax.

“One area we’re starting to talk to people about is that we charge kids under 12 a lower fare. Today they pay an adult APD,” he told the Business Breakfast.

“I’d love to see an APD decrease for kids. We’ve begun lobbying on that as a small thing.”

Kreeger said the airline sector struggles with a perception that it’s an industry for the “elite” rather than “mass transportation”.

“There is a collective failure of our industry to communicate with the government and the British people successfully,” he said.

“You can blame the politicians for not having the courage to do what’s right, but it’s also our responsibility to educate in a way that’s compelling, so that the populous as a whole would put more pressure on the politicians to do what we want them to do.

“So far it’s not resonating. We’ve tried lots of things and collectively we’ve not been successful.”

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