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07th December 2011

Air Passenger Duty increase is disappointing news for Northern Ireland passengers says Consumer Coun

The Consumer Council has said that today’s announcement by HM Treasury that Air Passenger Duty (APD) is to increase[1] is bitterly disappointing news and further highlights the need for speedy devolution of this issue.

Speaking about the announcement, Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council said:  “The vast majority of flights to and from NI are from other UK airports[2], which means NI passengers pay the charge twice on return flights to or from GB [3].  HM Treasury has stated that the issue of APD is to be devolved to the NI Executive.  Therefore, the Consumer Council wants to see this legislation moved through quickly so the NI Executive has the power to take decisions regarding APD that are in the interests of NI passengers and that recognise our dependence on air travel.” 

Continuing, Antoinette McKeown said:  “Protecting the connectivity between NI and other UK airports is of paramount importance to ensure a choice of sustainable routes for NI passengers as well as to encourage tourism and investment.  In September this year, APD on long haul flights departing from NI was reduced[4].  The focus must now be on the NI Executive to ensure it works to reduce or remove APD for domestic passengers, particularly when airports in the Republic of Ireland can offer Air Travel Tax (ATT) at 3 Euro to any destination in the world.  The Consumer Council wants to see the NI Executive bring about a beneficial outcome for NI passengers and we will remain committed to holding the NI Executive to account on this issue.

[1] From April 2012, APD will increase from £12 to £13: this means that on a return journey to another UK airport passengers will pay £26 – a rise of £2.

2 In 2010, 7.1 million passengers travelled through NI airports; 75 per cent of journeys were to or from other UK airports.

3 NI passengers travel by air 14 per more than the UK average – source: 2010 Northern Ireland and UK population statistics and 2010 Civil Aviation Authority passenger figures.

4 APD on long-haul flights reduced from £60 to £12:  Source – HM Treasury - September 2011.

ENDS

  1. Consumer Council media contact: Irene Overend, telephone, 028 9067 4816 or 07825147496 or e-mail, ioverend@consumercouncil.org.uk  
  2. The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about buses, trains, planes, ferries, natural gas, electricity, coal and water.
  3. For more information, visit our website at www.consumercouncil.org.uk



[1] From April 2012, APD will increase from £12 to £13: this means that on a return journey to another UK airport passengers will pay £26 – a rise of £2.

[2] In 2010, 7.1 million passengers travelled through NI airports; 75 per cent of journeys were to or from other UK airports.

[3] NI passengers travel by air 14 per more than the UK average – source: 2010 Northern Ireland and UK population statistics and 2010 Civil Aviation Authority passenger figures.

[4] APD on long-haul flights reduced from £60 to £12:  Source – HM Treasury - September 2011.

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