Airports call on government to scrap Air Passenger Duty

12 September 2018, 12:18 | Updated: 12 September 2018, 12:30

Budget airline Ryanair says scrapping Airport Passenger Duty would help to boost the South West Economy.

Ryanair has announced they're going to be flying from Exeter airport, with three routes to Malaga, Malta and Naples from April 2019.

They already operate routes from Cornwall Airport Newquay.

Following the announcement, they've told Heart that scrapping Airport Passenger Duty would help bring more tourists to Devon and Cornwall.

Robin Keily from Ryanair says it's effectively a tax on tourism, and they're one of the airlines calling on the government to scrap it.

It's already been scrapped in Ireland, and airlines and regional airports have been calling for government to make the change for several years.

The cost gets added on to ticket prices - we're looking at around £20 for EU flights and usually more than £100 for long haul flights.

Ryanair say that by getting rid of the tax, ticket prices would be cheaper, encouraging more international visitors to Devon and Cornwall.

Al Titterington, the general manager of Cornwall airport Newquay is backing the calls, and says one of the first things airlines mention when talking to him about new routes, is APD.

" APD is worth over £3.5 billion, but the increase in passenger numbers in the UK will more than pay for that in job value".

Matt Roach the Managing Director of Exeter airport agrees, that it would help boost the local economy if the tax was scrapped.

"we want to facilitate as much flying as we can from local airports, so passengers don't have to travel so much further afield. There's a lot of spare capacity and we really want the government to do all they can to support regional flying".