Air tax hikes will 'undermine' Olympics, says BA chief
Willie Walsh, the head of British Airways and Iberia's parent company, International Airline Group (IAG), has again hit out at the Government's expected hike in air taxes, saying it will "undermine" the Olympics.
Willie Walsh: chief executive, International Airline Group (IAG)
Walsh said the expected 8% hike in Air Passenger Duty (APD) in April will deter visitors to the UK.
British Airways has paid £40m in sponsorship money to be the official airline partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Walsh told the Guardian: "We're spending billions on the Olympics. It's going to create a great showcase – and then we undermine it by raising APD and keeping people away."
APD is set to rise by 8% in April this year, which will be announced in Chancellor George Osbourne’s budget. Current rates of APD are £12 per passenger for a short-haul flight and between £60 and £85 per person for a long-haul flight.
The tax increases announced in November last year led to an unlikely partnership between BA, Virgin Atlantic, easyJet and Ryanair, who united to lobby the Government together and urge it to scrap APD due to its "negative" impact on the economy.
Yesterday, at the announcement of IAG's financial results, Walsh said BA had paid "almost £500m in APD" in 2011, and that as a result of the latest increase, the airline reduce the number of new jobs it creates in 2012 "by around half".
IAG reported a leap in pre-tax profits yesterday, from €84m (£70m) in 2010 to €503m (£421m) in 2011.
However, IAG warned the Olympic Games could impact BA's traffic this summer.
A spokesperson for the company said: "While the Olympics will be positive for the long term position of London as a global destination, past experience in other host cities suggests that demand could be dampened during the games."
Follow Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith on Twitter @LoullaMae_ES
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
Latest jobs Jobs web feed
- Senior Account Manager fishtank 32k to 42k per year GBP, Maidenhead, Berkshire
- Graphic/Web Designer fishtank 17k to 27k per year GBP, United Kingdom
- ACCOUNT DIRECTOR/SENIOR ACCOUNT DIRECTOR - BTL/SP/Brand Experience - London - £45 - £55k plus bonus Judi Patton £45K-55K plus bonus, London/Greater London
- Digital Brand Manager Nike Europe Competitive + attractive relocation package for foreign hires, Amsterdam
- Head of Media, Marketing & Communications PGA Competitive, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
- senior planner > SPORTS BRANDS collectivo Up to £90,000 plus benefits, London
Integrated digital marketing offers huge opportunities to engage, servic...
With UK consumers spending an average of £1,083 a year online, int...
Conversational Mobile Marketing: Engage Customers and Empower Advocates (Expert Reports) External website
The pressure is on for marketers and mobile operators to embrace a strat...
As a nation, the UK is media and technology obsessed with over half of t...
All customers have the potential to become your brand advocates, driving...
A recent Brand Republic survey revealed that 78% of respondents felt und...