Airlines breathe easy on tax

easyJet have welcomed the government’s rejection of a £250 million raid on air travellers.Ê A £1 flat rate tax had been proposed by the Civil Aviation Authority as a means of building a fundÊfor passengers in the event of a tour operator or airline failure.
easyJet supports greater consumer protection but argues that airlines are best placed to look after their passengers.Ê We sawÊwith the recent failure of EU Jet and the Alitalia strikes over the weekend that the industry can move quickly to repatriate stranded passengers.

ÊThose airlines that are financially strong should not be subsidising the financially weak.Ê Weak airlines should be properly funded orÊbe forced to protect their customers through insurance that can be efficiently provided through a contestable market.Ê

easyJet also argued that all passengers should be protected so any initiative should be Europe-wide to prevent discrimination.

ÊRay Webster easyJet CEO said:

Ê“Let’s keep governments out of the airline industry.Ê Governments should define the standards and monitor that airlines conform to those standards but it should let the industry find the best way of meeting those requirements.Ê

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The government has acted in the consumer interest with its announcement today.Ê easyJet will continue to fight for lower fares for all passengers”

Flybe has also welcomed the decision to reject the proposal.

Flybe Sales and Marketing Director Mike Rutter said: “We are delighted that the Government has upheld the principle that passengers should have the freedom to choose whether to take out insurance, and decide which type of cover is appropriate for their independent travel plans and not be dictated to by a ‘nanny state’. It is patronising to these mature consumers to compel them to pay a state imposed levy when they have the opportunity to buy this product in the free market.”
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