Heathrow airport has released the details of a letter to Chancellor Phillip Hammond in which it urges the government to scrap Air Passenger Duty (APD) on all domestic UK flights in the autumn budget.

Research released earlier this week by A Fair Tax on Flying reveals that air passengers in the UK pay at least an extra £225 million a year more in taxes on domestic flights than their European counterparts. Heathrow’s proposal is part of a nine-point plan announced today (September 20) titled Bringing Britain Closer, which includes advice to connect more of the UK to global growth and prepare the economy outside London for Brexit.

Heathrow’s research shows taxes on domestic return flights from the airport are currently £26 and abolishing the extra payment would save UK passengers at least £24 million annually at Heathrow alone. The airport claims this would stimulate an eight per cent increase in demand and make new connections commercially viable for airlines.

CEO of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, said: “Preparing for a post-Brexit economy means this budget must include practical, deliverable and binding plans to support all of the UK. Abolishing APD on domestic flights is a bold move that would supercharge British competitiveness, make it cheaper for British businesses to get to London and beyond and ensure every part of our country can prosper in the future.”

Strategy director at Liverpool John Lennon airport, Mark Povall, added: “APD remains a barrier to airline growth here in the UK and will undermine the viability of such domestic connections.”

CEO at Leeds Bradford airport, David Laws,  said: “Connecting passengers from Yorkshire with the rest of the UK is an important part of our operation. By cutting APD on all UK domestic routes, it would be easier and more affordable for businesses and tourists to move through our airport and access our region, boosting jobs and growth in the process.”


Molly Dyson