Big 4 airlines angry reaction to aviation tax report

Four of the UK’s biggest airlines have reacted angrily to a report on aviation taxes that shows that those levied by Britain are among the highest in the world.

The report, which was carried out by the World Economic Forum, showed that Britain ranked 139 out of 140 on the taxation list, putting it into the same strata as Chad and Senegal.

The UK’s major airlines have long been campaigning against the level of Air Passenger Duty (APD) in the country, and this comparative report has only fuelled their anger. Willie Walsh, CEO of the IAG, Carolyn McCall, CEO of Easyjet, Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair and Craig Kreeger, CEO of Virgin Atlantic have issued a joint statement, saying, ‘It’s hard to find another comparable table on a key measure of international competitiveness which shows the UK to be trailing the rest of the world. This isn’t just a blow to our national pride but demonstrates the unjustified level of Air Passenger Duty and, following the recent PWC report, provides further evidence that the Chancellor must take action in the Budget on this destructive tax.

‘The PWC report highlighted the critical role that aviation plays as an engine of economic growth for both international commerce and tourism. It confirms that abolishing APD would provide the UK economy with a GDP boost worth at least £16 billion in the first three years, generating enough extra revenue from other taxes to give the Treasury a net gain and resulting in almost 60,000 new jobs in the UK.

‘We call upon the Chancellor to use the forthcoming Budget to remove APD to stimulate economic growth and create jobs.’