Proposed changes to Air Passenger Duty could cut UK air passenger numbers by three million a year and lead to a loss of up to 77,000 jobs, easyJet claims.
Launching a multi-media campaign, including an online petition against APD, the budget airline claimed that the changes would reduce tourist spending in the UK by £475 million and increase CO² emissions by up to 360,000 tonnes a year.
The ‘Tax Planes Not People’ campaign aims to unify consumers against the proposed tax increase.
The Government’s proposals, published in March, would increase APD from £12 to as much as £16 per person for flights up to 2,000 miles and reduce the rates and number of tax bands on long haul flights. The result of consultation on APD changes is due to be revealed in the autumn.
A report by Frontier Economics commissioned by easyJet found that although the changes would reduce the total number of flights, they would increase CO² emissions by encouraging more long haul services.
EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “This independent report shows that the Government’s proposals on APD would be bad for the environment and the economy.
“APD has already risen by 140% since 2007 on short haul flights. This report provides convincing evidence that the Government should not impose further increases in APD on short haul flights and should rethink its policy on aviation taxation.
“EasyJet is in favour of a move to a per plane tax. Four out of five British passengers would be better off under such a tax and, more importantly, it would encourage the industry to fly more efficiently.
“We believe British families and businesses will join our campaign to ‘tax planes not people’ and we’re encouraging them to sign up on easyJet.com.”
McCall and transport minister Theresa Villiers will host a parliamentary reception in the House of Commons later today.
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