Today, many families with children under 12 will receive a boost ahead of their summer holidays. Any reduction in air passenger duty (APD) is to be welcomed and for the millions of passengers that travel through UK airports on holiday or visiting friends and relatives it will be positive change. It is also a timely recognition of the value of aviation, the connectivity it provides for UK residents travelling abroad and tourists visiting our shores, and the economic benefits of removing barriers for travel.
High levels of APD makes the UK government around £3bn each year. But the revenues from inward investment, exports and tourists spending their money in the UK dwarf this figure by comparison. While our European competitors have frozen, reduced or scrapped APD over the last decade, the UK has continued, until recently, to increase this tax burden. It has made the UK less competitive as a country and less attractive as a destination for tourists, investment and trade. Heathrow, along with other airports across the country, have campaigned for a review of APD – citing evidence from economic analysts who show the wider benefits to the economy from increased competitiveness are far greater than the revenue generated by the tax.
John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport said:
“I continue to believe that a reduction, moving towards abolition of APD across the country, will support the UK on the journey to long-term, sustainable economic growth. This is a valuable first step.”