Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe commenced their latest service from Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) today with staff celebrating the airline’s inaugural flight to the Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Varna.
Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) along with the Airport Operators Association (AOA) – the trade association that represents UK airports, today welcomed the fact that the Chancellor has listened to submissions made by JLA and other AOA members and decided not to increase Air Passenger Duty (APD) for this year
However, Management at the Airport are warning that passengers still face the prospect of ‘double taxation’ and further increases in flying taxes when aviation enters the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2012; and also that the Chancellor may raise APD next year.
APD in the UK is already up to 8.5 times more than the European average. Many European countries have either already abandoned their aviation taxes, or indicated that they will do so, due to the negative effects on their economies including: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Ireland and Malta.
Even with the freeze, the UK economy is already losing £750m in GDP and 18,000 jobs as a direct result of the recent November 2010 rises in APD, not to mention the thousands of UK tourism jobs lost because less people can afford to holiday here. Scotland alone is estimated to be losing over 1.2m passengers, 148,000 tourists and £77m in revenue in the next three years.
Craig Richmond, CEO of Peel Airports commented, "We are pleased that the Government has listened to our concerns, however this is only the beginning and we urge anyone who travels by air, both on business or leisure, to continue to lobby Government further.
Unlike the vast majority of European nations who experienced air passenger growth last year, the UK saw a decline. A ‘double taxation’ next year will simply deter even more passengers from flying to and from the UK in future."
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association, said:
"UK airports cautiously welcome the fact that Air Passenger Duty is not going up immediately, though would not support the delayed increase coming into effect next year. We now call on the Chancellor to emulate the decisions of European competitor nations to reduce or abolish APD in the UK.
"Additionally, many people aren’t aware that UK aviation is also joining the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in 2012. This means that as things stand passengers will be subject to the costs of both ETS as well as aviation tax, so that holidaymakers and business travellers will effectively be paying double taxation next year.
"The Chancellor now needs to set out the government’s approach on reducing taxes on flying when the ETS comes in, otherwise passengers will simply be facing an actual tax increase later on in this 2011-12 financial year. There should be no double taxation of British aviation."
From Sunday 10 November, Widerøe is increasing the number of departures between Bergen and Liverpool to three a week.
easyJet have announced that they will add another new route to their operations from Liverpool, by operating twice weekly flights to Tenerife commencing on 30th October 2019 for the Winter 2019/20 season.