10 Feb

ABTA says flight ‘Rationing’ will cripple UK economy

ABTA, the Travel Association has hit out at Government proposals on rationing flights.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “For an island state, these proposals, if carried, out would not only seriously impede our liberties to leave the country but would hit jobs and damage our already suffering economy.”

Aviation directly and indirectly supports more than 700,000 jobs in the UK – more than the population of the City of Glasgow.  According to a report by Oxford Economic Forecasting (OEF, 2006), aviation contributes more than £11 billion to the UK economy - that’s as much as the electricity, gas and water supply industry and just as important a part of our infrastructure.

Aviation accounts for 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions considerably less than many other industries.

Environmental costs are already met via Air Passenger Duty which raises £2 billion per annum for the Government. This considerably outweighs the damage caused by its greenhouse gas emissions.

Tanzer continues: “Rationing flights would penalise all sections of the community, flying is no longer the sole preserve of the upper and middle classes. Indeed a significant proportion of those travelling by air from the UK are visiting friends and family abroad.   This kind of policy would have a disproportionate impact on ethnic minority communities in the UK, who more than most, value access to affordable long haul destinations in order to maintain cultural and familial links. Also, the UK has at least half a million pensioners live in Spain and need easy access back to the UK."