The chief executive of price comparison website Skyscanner has disputed industry concerns about the impact of rising Air Passenger Duty (APD) on demand for long-haul travel.
In the midst of rising concerns over the impact that high APD charges could have on the popularity of destinations, Skyscanner’s CEO Gareth Williams is confident that this concern is misplaced: “According to our data, the APD charges that were introduced at the end of last year appear to have had little negative impact on searches.
“Destinations which incurred the highest charges, such as the Caribbean and Singapore, have still seen a significant increase year on year and Australia has actually seen a 43% increase.
“Of course this may in part be due to competitive pricing by airlines as well as sporting events, such as New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup, having a halo effect on visitor numbers to neighbouring destinations. Regardless, it shows that people are not being put off travelling to these destinations.
“I’ll be interested to see what the final decision on APD is, but judging on what we’ve seen so far, I don’t think that it will have a significant impact.”
According to a recent poll by ABTA, many MPs are against further rises in APD tax. The government has announced it will release its statement on APD taxes on 29 November.