Memorandum submitted by the Board of Airline
Representatives UK (BAR UK)
The Board of Airline Representatives in the
UK (BAR UK) represents 91 scheduled airlines in their dealings
with Government; a list of members is attached for your information.
The aviation community is unhappy with the APD
increase in any event; however, it is the manner in which it is
being implemented that is of much graver concern.
BAR UK was present at the meeting of aviation
delegates at the Treasury on Monday when our concerns were expressed.
At that time, we were informed that Treasury was aware that there
would be issues arising out of its proposal, but decided to proceed
with the implementation date of 1 February anyway. It was also
apparent from what was said that the increase in APD has little,
if anything, to do with the environment, but was a way of meeting
the financial needs of the Exchequer. Their closing response in
declining to change anything was "we are where we are".
That could have been said as "you are where we have put you".
My point in writing to you is to make you aware
of the implications outside of the UK.
APD is collected in respect of all travellers
departing the UK, regardless of where tickets have been issued.
The doubling of APD for all travellers from 1 February, with such
little notice, has huge financial implications overseas, as well
as here in the United Kingdom.
The issues are two-fold:
(a) tickets already purchased, and issued,
for travel on/after 1 February; and
(b) tickets purchased and issued between
the announcement of the increase, and the dates by which ticketing
systems are updated.
In both cases, but especially the first, it
is extremely impractical to collect additional monies from passengers.
To do so would require such actions to take place at airports,
something that could be expected to lead to chaos, and to scenes
BAR UK has now received representations from
airlines from around the world. They are all extremely concerned
of the financial implications for their companies, each of whom
faces a liability of several hundreds of thousands of pounds.
It can be expected that some foreign Governments
may intervene on their behalf, as IATA (International Air Transport
Association) already has.
The sensible remedy would be to adjust the policy
so that the increased rates of APD applied to all tickets issued
on/after 1 February; to date, the Treasury has shown no wish to
I trust that this update, and the potential
effects on foreign relationships, may be of use to your Committee.
15 December 2006