B.A. and Virgin oppose UK government air tax reforms


British Airways and Virgin are against the UK government air tax reforms.


The two airlines said plans by the United Kingdom’s new coalition government for a new plane tax were impracticable and had the potential to financially hurt Britain’s travel industry.


The Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition of Britain said it would get rid of the current Air Passenger Duty and replace it with per-plane tax, stating the shift would discourage airlines from flying planes that were only half full.


British Airways said the most efficient way to deal with airlines’ affect on climate change is through the EU emission trading scheme, which is anticipated to start in 2012.


“The existing APD is not used to fund environmental or infrastructure benefits and there is no guarantee that a flight-based tax would, “a BA spokesperson said.


“Increased taxation on the UK aviation industry will create a financial incentive for customers to fly via continental (European) hubs rather than direct from or transiting through UK airports, which could actually lead to higher emissions as well as financially disadvantage the UK travel industry.”


Each airline receives a particular number of free certificates or licenses to pollute the air under the ETS.


Anything more than those certificates must be paid for.


A spokesperson from Virgin Atlantic pinned the new plan as unfeasible and said there was “considerable scope to improve APD but a-per plane tax won’t do it.”


Low-cost airlines that usually carry more passengers than carries like B.A. and Virgin thought the idea of per plane tax was fairer.


Source: Reuters


Photo: Wikimedia

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