Aircraft flight fee would damage air cargo industry

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The International Air Cargo Association has called on the UK government to abandon any idea of replacing the existing Airline Passenger Duty with a new per-aircraft flight fee.

TIACA has written to the secretaries of state for business, transport and the environment in response to rumours that the government is planning the change and warns that it would result in higher taxation across the air cargo supply chain, increased costs for manufacturers and consumers and deliver no new environmental benefits.

Secretary general Daniel Fernandez said: “We understand that governments have a responsibility to protect the environment but if such shift did take place in the UK, the reasons behind it are flawed. It would also set a precedent that other countries may follow and further impede the air cargo industry’s ability to meet the needs of global manufacturers and consumers. We understand the per-plane fee would ostensibly be imposed for environmental reasons, as a means of addressing aviation emissions of greenhouse gases. While details of the proposed new fee structure are not publicly available, we believe it is unlikely that any of the revenues derived would be directed to environmental betterment and are more likely to go to UK general funds.

“This would impose a tax on the air cargo sector at a time when it is still reeling from the economic downturn and recent shutdowns of European airspace due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland and negatively affect not only airlines but forwarders, shippers and the many businesses that depend on airfreight to run their operations smoothly. Ultimately, any additional costs will be borne by the consumer through higher prices of goods shipped by air.”

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