APD campaigners lobby in Downing Street

Members of ‘A Fair Tax on Flying’ campaign have visited Westminster to press their case about the impact of Air Passenger Duty ahead of the Budget.

Representatives of Airlines UK, the Airport Operators Association, Bar UK, Abta, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines and Bristol Airport supported Grant Shapps MP as he hand-delivered a letter to HM Treasury.

Signed by more than 40 members of the British Infrastructure Group of MPs and peers – chaired by Shapps – the letter highlighted the impact of the high level of APD on trade and connectivity and called for a cut in the tax.

Representatives of the campaign also delivered a petitioning letter to the door of Number 10, urging the prime minister to act on APD.

Shapps said: “APD is acting as a ‘tax on trade’, with the UK having the highest level of air passenger taxes in the world.

“Only aviation can connect the UK to the emerging markets that are seen as vital to our continued post-Brexit prosperity.

“If the government is to act on its commitments, especially around securing new trading partners outside the EU, it must make it as easy as possible to do business.

“Our current high levels of APD place these commitments at risk.

“We urge the Chancellor to cut APD to show Britain is open for business, boost tourism and reduce the cost of holidays for hard pressed families.”

Henk van Klaveren, spokesperson for the A Fair Tax on Flying Campaign, added: “Harnessing the support of MPs and peers is a vital part of our campaigning work to secure a cut of at least 50% in APD.

“We’re grateful to Grant Shapps for his high-profile support and to the growing list of MPs now listed as supporters on our campaign website.

“The whole economy needs an APD cut of at least 50% to get us on a level playing field with the next highest aviation tax country in the EU, Germany.”

Pictured at 10 Downing Street, from left: Tim Cade (Airlines UK), Dale Keller (BAR UK), Deirdre Wells (UKinbound), and Karen Dee (AOA).