March 23rd 2011
Flybe very much welcomes the Chancellors move to freeze Air Passenger Duty and to consult on the tax banding. APD disproportionately penalises the UK domestic passenger given that, unlike those flying abroad, they have to pay the tax on both legs of their journey, so the freeze is very much a step in the right direction.
However, given that UK passenger numbers are now back down to 2004 levels, it is evident that APD and the recession have combined to dampen demand for aviation. We welcome the Chancellors focus on the importance of the UKs regional airports in the APD consultation document published today and will argue strongly that domestic aviation should be subject to a lower rate.
Flybe is also pleased that the Chancellor has widened the scope of the tax to include private jets. We have been calling for this level playing field for some time and would encourage Mr. Osborne to go further and include freight flights also.
On the subject of jobs and skills, Mr. French, who is also Chairman of the CBI in the South West, added:
I am particularly pleased that Mr. Osborne has supported the creation of more apprenticeships. In the month that the new Flybe Training Academy has opened, it is great to see the government putting jobs and skills at the top of their agenda.