easyJet welcomes Conservative pledge to reform “daft” Air Tax
Commenting on the Conservatives’ manifesto pledge to reform Air Passenger Duty (APD), Andy Harrison, easyJet Chief Executive, said:
“We welcome the Conservatives’ promise to reform the UK’s daft air tax. A tax that forces families to subsidise private jets, cargo planes and 20 million foreign transfer passengers per year is way past its sell-by date. From an environmental perspective APD gives a perverse incentive – full planes pay the highest tax whilst empty ones pay no tax at all. We need to make air tax greener and fairer now. It should be reformed from a poll tax into a flight tax that taxes emissions, not families.”
Air Passenger Duty has been widely criticised for exempting private jets, cargo aircraft and foreign passengers changing planes as well as for under-taxing long-haul passengers.
easyJet and numerous other airlines as well as environmental groups have long called for a complete overhaul of APD. The vast majority of people in the UK support a reform of Air Passenger Duty (APD), according to a representative YouGov survey published in October 2009 which was commissioned by easyJet, the UK’s largest airline in the run up to the last increase in APD on 1 November 2009.
The analysis shows that 80% of the population agree that all flights, including cargo and private jets, should be taxed, while 69% said the tax ought to be designed to tackle climate change. In addition, almost two thirds of those questioned (65%) agreed that Air Passenger Duty should also cover foreign transfer passengers.