The Caribbean Tourism Organisation said it welcomes the announcement by the United Kingdom that it will reduce air passenger duty rates for long haul flights from Northern Ireland.
“This is seen as a sure sign that the UK government is giving consideration to the issues raised about air passenger duty arising out of its stakeholder consultation on air passenger duty reform,” the organisation wrote in a news release. “The reduction in air passenger duty for Northern Ireland acknowledges the importance of vital air routes to the economy and the positive impact that aviation can have on economic growth and sustainable job creation.”
The Northern Ireland case, the CTO wrote, was confirmation the travelling public was paying increasing attention to the cost of flights and people were willing to travel further to catch a flight if it saved money.
The organisation said passengers were already travelling from Dublin in Eire rather than Belfast in Northern Ireland due to the disparity in tax. While a flight from Dublin incurred around £2.50 per passenger, those travelling from Belfast would have to pay £75 in economy and £150 in premium.
The CTO remains steadfast in its opposition to air passenger duty, which it says distorts the market and reduces air services from the United Kingdom.