The Rt Hon Simon Burns MP, Minister of State for Transport, met the ABTA Board today to discuss his views on the challenges facing the travel industry and how he will work to address them.
The Minister’s visit to ABTA is one of the first he has made to an industry body since taking up his position as Transport Minister in September’s Cabinet reshuffle. The visit gave ABTA Members the opportunity to express their concerns on the most important transport issues affecting businesses in the industry, including: the need to bring airlines into the ATOL financial protection scheme; the shape and level of Air Passenger Duty and Government plans to address concerns on airport capacity throughout the UK – emphasising the importance of leisure travel as part of the UK’s aviation mix.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “The Minister has taken up his role at an absolutely critical time. The need for a comprehensive solution to the aviation capacity constraints hindering UK growth has never been more pressing. There is also much work to be done to create a fair and clear ATOL scheme. The Civil Aviation Bill, which will become law soon, gives this Government a unique opportunity to achieve this.
“We’ve built a strong relationship with the DfT in recent years and today’s meeting was a continuation of that constructive relationship. The Minister was keen to listen to and understand the industry’s most pressing concerns and we will continue to lobby him to ensure a successful and sustainable UK travel and tourism industry.”
Simon Burns MP, Minister of State for Transport said: “This was a constructive and informative meeting with ABTA and its members to discuss their views on some of the issues affecting transport in the UK. The UK is currently one of the best connected countries in the world. Our airport network provides UK citizens and business with the international connections they need to trade, to visit friends and family and to go on holiday, and it is right that the passenger is at the heart of our aviation policy.
“We will therefore continue to work with ABTA and other key stakeholders as we modernise the ATOL scheme and develop a sustainable aviation policy that supports economic growth while reflecting the environmental impacts of flying.”