Travel leaders back PM's stance on APD

Travel leaders back PM's stance on APD

Industry figures have echoed David Cameron’s comments that the abolition of Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Scotland would lead to “unfair competition” for airports in the northeast.

The prime minister suggested England could follow suit once APD changes were made in Scotland. “We will do what’s necessary to ensure England’s regional airports can succeed,” he said.

Cameron said a list of options would be drawn up examining how to vary rates of APD, within months of a Conservative election victory.

“We are not going to accept unfair tax competition. I’m very keen to make sure that Newcastle airport has a bright future.”

British Airways reiterated calls for the tax to be abolished across the UK, with Willie Walsh, chief executive of parent company International Airlines Group, saying that adjustments at Newcastle airport would lead to a domino effect across England.

“The prime minister has conceded APD damages growth and stifles job creation,” said Walsh. “If APD is on the way out in Scotland, it needs to be scrapped UK-wide.”

Thomas Cook Group chief executive Peter Fankhauser said: “It’s important that consumers are not faced with a confusing array of different taxes.”

The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) said: “As a member of A Fair Tax on Flying, the SPAA has consistently argued for UK-wide reductions.”

SPAA political convener Sandy MacPherson said he had underlined the complexities to Scottish transport minister Keith Brown, who confirmed the intention to reduce APD, “though the process is not yet complete.”

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