Several leading U.K. aviation figures lashed out angrily yesterday in response to the Chancellor’s failure to address the controversial air passenger duty (APD) in the country’s Autumn Statement. The planned increase in the APD, announced in the March 2011 budget, will be double the rate of inflation. The increase goes into effect in April.
Despite a sizable industry campaign, which saw the heads of, , and group together to argue against the increased tax, U.K. Chancellor George Osborne made no reference to the APD in his speech to the House of Commons yesterday.
The airline CEOs, in a joint statement, denounced APD as “an own goal,” adding that “the Chancellor has just scored another one,” in reference to the economic recovery of the U.K. “By increasing this tax by double the rate of inflation, he is further deterring inbound tourism and foreign investment,” they added.
Mike Carrivick, CEO of the Board of Airline Representatives, also commented on the planned increase, calling it “a retrograde step for the U.K. economy.” He said, “No increase is justified. This action demonstrates the continued discrimination against air travelers.”
Following the Chancellor’s speech, the U.K. treasury confirmed the APD increase will take effect next April. In addition, the plan to apply the APD to business jet flights from April 2013 remains in place.