Thursday, May 13, 2010
It appears that in addition to scrapping plans to build a third runway at London Heathrow, the United Kingdom's newly formed Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition plans to introduce a new "eco" tax on the airline industry. See Pilita Clark & Brian Groom, Air Tax Angst Mars Business Delight, Fin. Times, May 13, 2010 (available here). Not surprisingly, the airlines are less than enthused. From the story:
Virgin Atlantic branded the tax "unworkable" while British Airways said there was no guarantee it would be used to benefit the environment. FlyBe, one of the largest regional carriers, branded it "illogical" and unfair.
Business jet and air freight operators were critical of the government's adoption of the Lib Dems' pre-election pledge to replace air passenger duty with a "per-plane duty", which the party said would ensure "pollution is properly taxed". Aircraft flown by these groups do not pay the existing air passenger duty.
"It's colossal from our perspective," said Anne de Courcy, secretary-general of the Association of International Courier and Express Services, which represents air freight operators in the UK such as Fedex and DHL.