Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, has today thanked its passengers for their overwhelming public response following calls for pressure to be put on the Government to re-consider the punitive and unfair Air Passenger Duty tax that travellers pay when flying from a UK airport. This tax most seriously results in passengers flying within the UK having to pay the tax not just once, but twice as it is a departure tax that has increased a massive 160% since 2007. A UK domestic passenger pays £13 tax on both legs of their journey, adding an additional £26 to the cost of their return ticket.
Flybe reports that thousands of its passengers alone have already responded to the Fair Tax on Flying campaign that, spearheaded by a 30-strong alliance of airlines, airports and tour operators has resulted in over 100,000 e-mails flooding into MP offices demanding a Treasury review into why passengers departing from UK airports continue to pay the highest levels of tax in Europe.
Flybe operates more domestic flights than any other airline in the UK and its services help drive the economies of the UK regions, especially important during this time of continued recession.
Niall Duffy, Flybe's Head of PR and Public Affairs comments: "We would like to thank the thousands of our passengers who have supported the Fair Deal on Tax campaign to date. Air Passenger Duty is a barrier to economic growth. Flybe supports any reform of APD that deals with the inherent unfairness that means UK domestic passengers pay the tax on both legs of their journey, while those flying abroad pay just once because APD is a departure tax from a UK airport. So, for example, a return passenger travelling between Exeter and Manchester (188 miles) pays double the tax that someone flying between Glasgow and Dalaman in Eastern Turkey does (4,086 miles). That is not just inequitable - it is scandalous. Flybe still believes that this ‘double hit’ must be addressed in order to safeguard UK domestic aviation and UK regional economic competitiveness.”
He adds: “The economic development of any region is dependent upon the access and communications into and out of that region. Any reform of taxation must take into account the needs of the UK region. The Government must strive to protect communities and businesses where flying is a necessity, not a luxury."