Industry leaders expressed frustration at Chancellor George Osborne’s failure to address concerns about APD in his Budget, but said they would continue to campaign for a government review.
Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “We needed to see bold action on infrastructure and APD. We saw neither.”
Luke Pollard, Abta’s head of public affairs, added: “APD is a tax on inward investment, a tax on increased jobs in tourism and a barrier to trade. Efforts to ensure the Chancellor acknowledges this will continue.”
Dale Keller, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives (Bar UK) said: “Just because the industry was expecting a slap in the face from the Treasury does not make it any more palatable.
“It’s beyond belief that the Chancellor has put beer before aviation.” But he added: “Bar UK will continue its engagement with the government.”
The head of the Airport Operators Association, Darren Caplan, said: “These year on year rises in APD are fundamentally damaging the UK’s competitiveness.”
British Air Transport Association chief executive Simon Buck agreed, saying: “There is incontrovertible evidence that scrapping the highest tax on flying in the world would benefit the UK economy.
“The missed opportunity to help kick start the economy is a shocking own goal.”
Paul Wait, head of the travel management company association the GTMC, suggested the rise in APD would create “additional financial burdens on companies to trying to build trade and export overseas”.
He added: “We are concerned that the practice of using European hubs to travel to long-haul destinations and emerging markets to lower costs and avoid higher APD charges will significantly increase.”
Analysts broadly backed the industry view. Travel and hospitality tax specialist Daniel Barlow of Deloitte said: “The government is committed to retaining APD for the simple reason that it raises £3 billion of revenue per year and costs 0.06p to collect for every £1 raised.”
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