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Government announces review of air passenger duty

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Following reports of the deal struck to save struggling regional airline Flybe, which is thought to include a three-month deferral of the company’s air passenger duty (APD) liability, the government has announced it will carry out a UK-wide review of APD ahead of the Budget in March, aimed at strengthening ‘regional connectivity’.

The chancellor of the exchequer, Sajid Javid, said ‘the reviews we are announcing today will help level up our economy. They will ensure that regional connections not only continue but flourish in the years to come – so that every nation and region can fulfil its potential’.

However, the deal to save Flybe has attracted criticism from other airlines, some of whom have lodged complaints with the European Commission on grounds that the rescue package amounts to unfair state aid.

The announcement of a review has prompted the Welsh government to renew its call for the UK to devolve APD to Wales by 2021 – a call the UK government has continued to resist, citing concerns about harmful effects of competition within the UK aviation market.

Welsh economy and transport minister, Ken Skates, commented how the decision over Flybe, ‘demonstrates how air passenger duty can be used as an enabler to incentivise passengers to use more local and regional airports. I will be calling on the UK government to ensure we are right at the heart of discussions over the future of APD.’ 

Issue: 1472
Categories: News