AIRLINE Flybe is calling on the government to scrap Air Passenger Duty (APD).
The airline claims that “for too long” the charge has acted as a tax on the UK’s regions and stifled economic growth.
They say someone buying a return ticket from Exeter to London City pays £26 or 6.84p a mile in APD, while someone buying a return ticket from Manchester to Athens only pays £13 or 0.4p per mile.
Flybe point to work by economic experts at Oxford Economics who have shown that abolishing APD would boost UK GDP by £5bn.
And they cite a report by York Aviation which concluded that cutting APD could boost the Scottish economy by £1bn and create almost 4,000 new jobs.
Ireland, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands have all scrapped their versions of APD because they realised it was harming their economies, according to Flybe.
Saad Hammad, Flybe Chief Executive Officer, said: “If the Government is serious about fostering economic development in the UK regions it should act now on APD, rather than just spending billions subsidising rail projects such as HS2 and HS3 which will not be delivered for decades.
“Regional aviation is a crucial part of the UK’s transport infrastructure and there is absolutely no logic for the continuation of such a discriminatory tax regime.
“That’s why we are demanding change and hope that the Chancellor will see sense and scrap this unreasonable and counter-productive tax on those living and working in the UK regions.”