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06 December 2011

Flybe response to Treasury Air Passenger Duty (APD) Consultation

Flybe, the UK's number one domestic airline, today welcomed the government's plans for APD, in particular the clear acknowledgement of the importance of rebalancing the tax system to support the UK regional economies.

The airline also applauded the Chancellor’s decision not to move to a two or three band structure, which, as the government has acknowledged, would have required passengers travelling within the UK and Europe to have paid more.

Commenting on the announcement, Jim French, Flybe’s Chairman and Chief Executive said:

“Flybe lobbied hard to ensure that passengers in the UK regions didn’t get a raw deal from a reformed Air Passenger Duty. We are therefore delighted that the government has acknowledged that one of the key elements to regional economic revival is convenient, sustainable air transport services; and we are particularly pleased with their commitment to examine the tax system to rebalance the UK economy across the regions. Flybe stands ready to assist the government in this very important area and will work with them to improve the regional connectivity that is so crucial to the wider economy.

“On the subject of banding, there were many that sought to persuade the government that domestic passengers should, in effect, subsidise long-haul passengers by paying more tax. I applaud the Chancellor for disregarding such calls and for supporting a domestic market that has seen 20% less passengers since 2007. We would, though, still like to see some action taken on what has become known as the ‘double dip’, where domestic passengers pay APD twice, while those flying abroad pay just once because APD only applies to outbound flights from the UK.

Concluding, Mr French commented: “Flybe believes tax decisions should be determined locally and therefore called for the government to devolve APD to the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments. We therefore welcome the fact that such devolution is being explored and look forward to working with Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Stormont to making this a reality.”