Association appeals to UK Chancellor
Europe's low cost airlines have appealed to the UK government to cut aviation taxes ahead of the country's budget next week.
The European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA) has written to Alastair Darling, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, appealing for "decisive action."
The ELFAA, whose members include Ryanair, clickair and easyJet, asked the government to abandon plans to increase its Air Passenger Duty (APD) on November 1 or scrap the tax entirely.
John Hanlon, the ELFAA's secretary general, today said other European governments had "woken up to the fact that aviation is crucial in pulling us out of recession."
"Taxing transport, which facilitates international trade, investment and other economic activity, doesn't make any sense whatsoever at this point of the economic cycle," he said.
"It is more than a little ridiculous that, given even the recent admission by the government's own report that aviation already more than covers its environmental costs, the government would even think of raising the tax burden further."
Mr Hanlon pointed out the Dutch government's recent decision to abolish its air passenger tax. A fall in traffic through Amsterdam Schiphol was blamed on the tax.
Last November Mr Darling abandoned plans for a per plane Aviation Duty but said he would increase APD as part of his "recession package".
Under the new plan, from November 2009 passengers will be taxed in four bands depending on distance of flight (see APD to double on long distance flights).
Further increases are planned in 2010.