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Peel Airports’ Budget reaction

Responding to today’s budget, Peel Airports, owners of Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield and Liverpool John Lennon Airport, believes that the Government has yet again turned its back on an industry that has the ability to help kick-start regional and national economies by further increasing the damaging Air Passenger Duty (APD).

Craig Richmond CEO of Peel Airports Limited commented, “It never ceases to amaze me that a Government that ‘talks the talk’ about a budget that backs business, can at the same time fail to ‘walk the walk’ by then doing the opposite.

We should be talking about scrapping APD completely if we want any chance of helping the aviation industry to generate improvements to the economy through more jobs, more investment and more visitors to the UK, yet here we are facing increases both this year and next. Our European competitors will undoubtedly be celebrating this news.”

Peel Airports also echoed the sentiments of the CEO’s of easyJet, Ryanair, IAG and Virgin Atlantic who have expressed their own dismay at the Chancellor’s budget increases for APD.

Carolyn McCall of easyJet, Willie Walsh of IAG, Michael O’Leary of Ryanair and Steve Ridgeway of Virgin Atlantic, jointly said, “At a time when the Government talks about creating jobs and growth, its blinkered insistence on further increases in Air Passenger Duty achieves precisely the opposite.

“Youth unemployment is at record levels. Inbound tourism is a major employer of young people, but international visitors are being turned off the UK because of the exorbitant level of APD - which is by far the highest air travel tax in the world.

Craig Richmond added, “We strongly support these comments made by airline CEO’s. APD will continue to damage the economy and the chances of turning the situation around in the short term.”