Ryanair’s Deputy Chief Executive, Michael Cawley, has called for the abolition of Air Passenger Duty (APD) at a Chamber of Commerce function in Londonderry today (February 20).
The City of Derry Airport (CODA) fully endorsed the views expressed by Mr Cawley, saying it was an unfair tax that is having a hugely negative effect across the UK regions and in particular here in Northern Ireland. Mr Cawley said: “The UK Government’s APD tax is damaging Northern Ireland’s tourism. Northern Ireland cannot grow tourism by taxing visitors and raising airport charges to uncompetitive levels.
“Other EU countries have returned to growth by scrapping tourist taxes and cutting airport charges, in some cases to zero like Ireland and we urge Northern Ireland to now follow this lead.”
Over 80 per cent of all flights to and from Northern Ireland are to airports in Great Britain, this means that our passengers are charged APD on both legs of their journey.
At the current rate passengers are charged £26 in tax on a return ticket to anywhere in GB from Northern Ireland.
In 2012 Clive Coleman, Technical Director at Parsons Brinckerhoff, which manages the Eglinton facility, said the low cost airline Flybe pulled out of Eglinton after just four months of operation due to the restrictive cost of the air passenger tax.