30 November 2022, Virtual
12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
The UK has the second highest air taxes and charges in the world, according to a new report by the World Economic Forum.
Only Chad in central Africa is ranked below the UK in the list of 140 countries based on their ticket taxes and airport charges.
Major airlines were quick to use the report’s findings to again call for the government to reduce taxes on aviation and particularly Air Passenger Duty.
The bosses of IAG, Easyjet, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic said in a joint statement: “The WEF report shows that Britain has the highest aviation taxes and charges in the world, ranked 139th out of 140 and rubbing shoulders with countries like Chad, Senegal and the Dominican Republic.
“It’s hard to find another comparable table on a key measure of international competitiveness which shows the UK to be trailing the rest of the world.
“This isn’t just a blow to our national pride but demonstrates the unjustified level of APD and, following the recent PWC (Pricewaterhouse Coopers) report, provides further evidence that the chancellor must take action in the budget on this destructive tax.”
Airlines and travel organisations are trying to put more pressure on chancellor George Osborne ahead of the budget on March 20 when a further rise in APD is likely to be confirmed.
The WEF report ranks 140 countries’ competitiveness for travel and tourism across a range of factors including price, regulations, environmental sustainability, health and hygiene, safety and security, infrastructure and cultural resources.
Despite the UK ranking 138th for overall price competitiveness (mainly due to the high air taxes), the country is listed as the 5th most competitive travel destination overall – only coming behind Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Spain. The UK actually moved up two places from 7th in the last report for 2011.
The UK scores most highly for its cultural resources, followed by air transport infrastructure, human resources and environmental sustainability.
The WEF said in the report: “The country has probably benefitted from two important events in 2012: the Olympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Although the outcome is not yet fully reflected in the data, the United Kingdom has leveraged the preparation of these events in terms of tourism campaigns, generating interest in visiting the country.
“On a less positive note, the United Kingdom continues to receive one of the poorest assessments for price competitiveness (138th), in large part because it has the 2nd highest tax rate on tickets and airport charges worldwide.”