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Ryanair issues APD warning

June 23, 2009


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Ryanair, Europe's largest low fares airline, has today announced that growth at its nine UK bases will be frozen with immediate effect, blaming the Government's £10 tourist tax and BAA's high airport charges.

The airline has called on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to scrap the £10 Air Passenger Duty tax and to hurry the sale of Gatwick and Stansted to prevent further collapse in UK tourism.

"Ryanair will grow by 15% this year to over 67 million passengers," said Ryanair's Michael O'Leary. "However, the UK will not share in any of this growth in 2009 as Ryanair (the only major European airline continuing to grow) freezes growth at our nine UK bases. Gordon Brown's £10 tourist tax will see Britain lose over 10 million passengers, 10,000 airport jobs and more than £2.5 billion in tourism spend in the UK this year alone.

"The Government should follow the example of their Belgian, Dutch, Greek and Spanish counterparts by immediately scrapping this stupid and regressive tourist tax to avoid any further devastation to British tourism and jobs.

"Tourism is one of the UK's most important industries and employers. It responds quickly to price changes. The Government's £10 tourist tax is making the UK an uncompetitive destination and they must scrap this tax now to prevent a further collapse of UK passenger, tourism and job numbers. While the UK keeps taxing tourists Ryanair will switch its growth to other EU countries where low cost airports are growing and where Governments are welcoming tourists, not taxing them."

According to Ryanair's calculations, should the UK's tourist industry continue to collapse, the UK economy will lose over 10 million passengers, 10,000 airport jobs and over £2.5 billion in tourism spend.

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