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AAPA strongly critical of UK aviation policy

2-Aug-2011 8:15 AM

Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has (01-Aug-2011) "strongly criticised" the UK government for its "punitive taxation of air travel in the form of the Air Passenger Duty" and "stubborn failure to recognise the positive contribution made by the aviation industry as a key catalyst of economic growth". AAPA again criticised the "arbitrary use of geographic distance bands, imposing highly discriminatory charges on travellers flying to destinations furthest away from Europe, which has a particularly adverse impact on travel and tourism links between the UK and the Asia Pacific region". Long-haul passengers constitute less than a quarter of the total number of passengers, AAPA noted, but they contribute two thirds of the total tax revenues raised by APD. AAPA also said the UK government’s decision to block any further development of much needed additional runway capacity at London Heathrow and London Gatwick provides "yet another example of the dysfunctional nature of UK aviation policy". [more]

AAPA: "Imagine the uproar if the British Museum, or a London hotel, were to display a price list with radically different prices depending on the nationality or origin of the customer. The UK APD should be repealed in its entirety or, failing which, should at least revert to being charged at a more reasonable flat rate." Andrew Herdman, Director General. Source: AAPA, 01-Aug-2011.

AAPA: "We have long held the view that the APD is an ill-conceived tax measure, and fundamentally misguided in its approach. Having been subject to repeated revisions, the APD is certainly not simple, nor is it coherent in terms of addressing the government’s own stated policy objectives." Andrew Herdman, Director General. Source: AAPA, 01-Aug-2011.

AAPA: "The UK Government has performed repeated flip flops, on occasion trying to justify APD, entirely spuriously, as an environmental measure, but later admitting that it was purely a revenue-raising fiscal measure, that extracts GBP2.5 billion (USD4 billion) a year from the travelling public. The APD is entirely ineffective as an environmental measure, to address climate change and reduce emissions, for the simple reason that none of the funds raised are directed towards achieving any environmental benefit ... Furthermore, the UK Government appears to be blind to the hidden damage done to the broader economy as a result of the imposition of punitive taxes on aviation, threatening the UK’s competitive position as a major business services hub and popular tourist destination, causing growing concern amongst the wider business community." Andrew Herdman, Director General. Source: AAPA, 01-Aug-2011.