Multicom boss John Howell has launched an e-petition calling for a freeze on Air Passenger Duty ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget statement next week.
Howell is urging everyone in the travel industry to support the e-petition calling for George Osborne not to go ahead with his plans for a double-inflation rise in the air tax for 2012.
His call comes a week after four airlines, British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic called on the government to ditch APD altogether. Multicom said it supported the calls for the abolishment of APD, but Howell said he believed the case had yet to be made for it to be scrapped.
“I very much welcome the intervention by the four airlines and their joint approach to the problem. For far too long we have failed as an industry to lobby government effectively and it is high time we presented a more united front,” he said.
“However, we have a long way to go to convince government that there is a case for abolishing or even reducing APD but we can at least seek to minimise any additional damage by calling for another freeze.”
Howell said calls for a further freeze were more likely to be heard by the government if the industry supported his e-petition in large numbers. At least 100,000 signatures are needed for it to stand a chance of it being debated in parliament.
Details of the e-petition can be found at http://www.multicom.co.uk/pages/our-activities/petition-for-a-freeze-on-air-passenger-duty
“I hope every tour operator, airline and travel agent will encourage its staff to support our campaign and encourage them to sign the e-petition,” added Howell.
“If we can reach the magic 100,000 mark before the Chancellor stands up to make his budget statement on November 29 it will send him a very strong and powerful message on behalf of our industry.”