Airlines UK – which represents 13 carriers – says the demise of flybmi shows why action is needed by the UK Government to cut air passenger duty (APD).
The industry association adds the collapse demonstrates why Government must act “urgently to grasp the nettle” and finally address the UK’s “sky high” rates of APD – the tax paid by passengers on every flight departing a UK airport.
Airlines UK chief executive, Tim Alderslade said: “Rates of UK APD are the highest in the world, making it harder for airlines to grow and sustain routes as they battle high fixed costs and wider economic uncertainty. Indeed, the UK was the only country in Europe to see a loss of direct connectivity last year.
“APD doubly affects regional UK carriers by effectively taxing passengers twice, £13 on both the outbound and return journeys.
“The demise of Flybmi highlights the myriad challenges faced by airlines today trying to keep revenues ahead of costs, and should act as a wake-up call for Government which must prioritise a cut to this damaging tax – more important than ever as the UK becomes more reliant on aviation post-Brexit.”
Responding to the news on Sunday (17 February) that flybmi went administration, Alderslade said: “Today’s announcement demonstrates once again the ferociously competitive environment airlines currently operate in.
“It should give Government – and other parts of the industry who relentlessly champion passenger growth but too frequently neglect the challenges carriers face – pause for thought about the costs they are asking airlines to absorb and to what extent this is sustainable into the future.”