Several new Chambers of Commerce from across the country have joined the industry’s Fair Tax on Flying campaign against Air Passenger Duty following a hike in the tax in the last Budget.
They include Aberdeen, Leeds, Kent and Essex and join the Birmingham, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, Greater Manchester, London and Scottish Chambers of Commerce who are already members.
James Bream, research and policy director of the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “Aberdeen airport could lose up to 200,000 passengers by 2016 because of APD.
“This will impact our tourism industry but also the UK economy by constraining exports and growth. We have a high proportion of business travellers moving all around the world and APD continues to be a barrier to realising the potential of the northeast economy.”
Phil Smith, managing director at Business West, said: “Regional airports are a fundamental part of local economies, providing jobs and investment as well as connectivity.
“A reduction in APD would support their future development and provide a real boost to growth – for example expansions to Bristol airport are set to deliver additional income to the southwest region of around £2 billion. The potential is there, government just needs to release that potential by reducing or removing an unnecessary and unfair tax.”
Daniel Fell, deputy chief executive of Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are fully supportive of A Fair Tax on Flying’s campaign as reforming APD would support regional airports such as Doncaster Sheffield Airport and also any business that currently, or potentially, trades overseas.”
Airport Operators Association chief executive Darren Caplan, said: “We are delighted to welcome all these new Chambers of Commerce members to the A Fair Tax on Flying team.
“Their support demonstrates the crucial importance the UK business community attaches to reducing the current eye-wateringly high Air Passenger Duty tax to fairer levels, and we look forward to working with them to achieve this.”
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