Emirates and American Airlines – two of the world’s most recognized and largest airlines – have joined in the call for a “significant cut” in the UK’s Air Passenger Duty.
The two carriers have joined the ‘A Fair Tax on Flying’ bid, which is supported by ABTA, the Airport Operator’s Association, Airlines UK, and the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK).
The development comes on the heels of a letter from Heathrow Airport that was sent to Chancellor Phillip Hammond, requesting the government to eliminate APD on all domestic UK flights in the autumn budget.
Emirates President, Tim Clark, said that removing the tax would “benefit consumers, stimulate more leisure and business travel, and send a strong signal that the UK is serious about building ever stronger international air and trade links, particularly in the post Brexit world.”
American Airlines Managing Director of London Heathrow, Rhett Workman, also chimed in, saying, “We’re proud to be the largest non-UK based airline at Heathrow and to have served the UK for 45 years.
“American’s flights provide a key link from the UK to the United States and other markets. Post-Brexit Britain needs to be open for business. We urge the UK Government to make this clear to flyers by considering a decisive cut in their Air Passenger Duty.”
The campaign has placed the spotlight on the high rates of APD in the UK, by comparing what it says is the equivalent aviation tax charged in the US and UAE.
Economy class passengers on long-haul flights from most UK airports see £75 in APD placed on top of the cost of their ticket, with premium economy, business and first class travellers getting charged £150 in APD charges.
In the US the equivalent aviation tax is £24.93 regardless of class travelled in, and in the UAE it is £5.74.