1. ITV Report

Flying from Cardiff Airport could become cheaper

Cardiff Airport Credit: ITV News

Booking flights from Cardiff Airport could become cheaper if the Welsh Government gets the powers to set Air Passenger Duty.

The amount of tax paid on flights (APD) for Welsh customers is currently set by the UK Government, while Scotland and Northern Ireland are able to cut the cost of longer haul flights by reducing APD.

First Minister Carwyn Jones is calling on the UK Government to give Wales control over flight tax.

The Welsh Government has long called for the devolution of APD. However, the UK Government has resisted calls, saying any reduction in APD in Wales would negatively impact on Bristol Airport.

As we prepare for a future outside the EU, it is essential we are able to take action to promote Wales to the world and support growth in our aviation sector and wider economy.

Once devolved, the Welsh Government would reduce or even scrap the tax paid on flights – not only benefitting passengers, but providing a huge confidence boost for Cardiff Airport and Wales’ aviation industry, while also complementing Bristol Airport and providing a more competitive service. Devolving APD would also improve connectivity across Wales, boost investment and help business.

I look forward to working with the UK Government to make this a reality. Continuing to blankly refuse to devolve APD in the face of such strong evidence would show a discriminatory disdain for Wales, constrain our ability to promote Wales oversea and undermine our economic interests.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones

In response, a UK Government spokesperson said:

The UK Government has looked at the issue of APD devolution in detail over recent years in line with our commitment in the St David’s Day Agreement.

We made our position clear on this matter last year.

Having considered the impacts of devolving APD on nearby English regional airports, we have ruled out the devolution of APD to Wales.

– UK Government spokesperson

The Welsh Government says Devolving and then reducing APD in Wales would directly result in a significant positive benefit for the economies of both south Wales and the south west of England and would result in more choice for passengers throughout both regions.