MAG CEO Charlie Cornish reaction to the Chancellor's Budget October 2021

MAG CEO Charlie Cornish said:

On the extension of Airport and Ground Operators Support Scheme (AGOSS):

“The six-month extension to the Airport and Ground Operators Support Scheme is welcome and will go a small way towards mitigating the devastating impact of the pandemic on our industry. It is disappointing that the £4m cap per airport remains in place and that the support provided to other sectors continues to exceed that offered to aviation, given its critical role in driving the UK’s economic recovery.

“With so little financial support available to the UK aviation industry, it is vital that the Government creates a framework for international travel free from restrictions as soon as possible.”

On the changes to Air Passenger Duty (APD):

“Anything that reduces the cost of flying for consumers, at the same time as improving regional connectivity and supporting the Government's levelling-up ambitions is positive news, and so a 50% cut on domestic routes should be welcomed.

“However, it is important to note that the UK has for some time had some of the highest rates of aviation tax in the world, and in the aftermath of these reforms, those travelling on short haul flights will still pay at least £13 and those on long haul flights will still have to pay at least £84.

These taxes are not only passed directly passed onto passengers, making air travel less affordable for all, they have also placed us at a competitive disadvantage when seeking to secure new connections to key global destinations, which will be more important than ever before, as we emerge from the pandemic and seek to create a global Britain.

It is vital government carries out a full review of all APD bands and considers creative ways to help UK airports win back routes to key global markets, and secure new connections in the future.

“The introduction of the ultra-long haul APD tax band does not assist the industry in terms of aviation decarbonisation and the revenue generated by the levy delivers no environmental benefit. The aviation sector already has ambitious plans in place, and is working together with the Government on the Jet Zero Council to achieve net zero by 2050, so that people and businesses can continue to enjoy the benefits of international travel without having any further impact on the environment.

“Alongside international co-operation at the upcoming COP26 Summit, the Government should also support key initiatives like CORSIA, Airspace Modernisation and the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuels.”