ABTA welcomes the announcement by the all party Northern Ireland Affairs Committee that they want Air Passenger Duty to be scrapped for all flights out of the province.This follows ABTA's recommendation to the Government, which is consulting on a reform of APD, that Northern Ireland should be treated as a special case. APD has had a particularly damaging effect on the travel and tourism industry and wider economy in Northern Ireland as customers have the option to fly from the Republic of Ireland which currently taxes fliers at 3 euros a head and has announced that it intends to abolish the tax entirely in the near future.
However, ABTA also feels that the revenue lost by abolishing APD in NI should not be replaced by raising revenue in other parts of the UK.
Doreen McKenzie, proprietor of Knock Travel and ABTA NI spokesperson said: "This recommendation by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee is an important first step in getting the Government to see just how damaging APD is to the travel industry and wider economy in Northern Ireland. Unlike other parts of the UK, our customers have the option of avoiding the heavy cost of APD by simply making a short car journey over the border and many are doing precisely that."
Luke Pollard ABTA head of public affairs said: "The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and ABTA?s recommendation to abolish Air Passenger Duty is essential to prevent further damage to the economy of the province. Northern Ireland clearly represents a special case from the rest of the United Kingdom because of the shared land border."