Adrian Loveridge Column – APD is Still with US!

Adrian Loveridge

Adrian Loveridge

Naturally we depend on airlift to drive the overwhelming number of visitors who grace our shores, so I would like to continue with the subject again this week.

Kudos must be given to our policymakers for stepping in so quickly to compensate for the air seats lost with the collapse of the Thomas Cook Group including their airline recently, albeit at a cost to both the taxpayer and passengers using the carrier.

As frequent users of Thomas Cook Airlines, they provided a vital role in offering a lower cost alternative to and from Barbados, and the flexibility of allowing the booking of one-way fares, which provided substantial savings to frequent flyers visiting this island. While it is just possible to book single fares with both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways, the cost is significantly higher.

Sadly, across the region, despite many concerted, if eventually futile efforts, our politicians and the combined might of our private sector tourism industry, including the various travel trade representative bodies, were dramatically unsuccessful in persuading the British Government to eliminate or at least severely reduce the dreaded Advance Passenger Duty (APD).

And should anyone need to be reminded, the APD will once again be increased from April 2020 to GB Pounds 80 (reduced rate), GB Pounds 176 (standard rate) and a mind boggling GB Pounds 528 for the higher rate, all per person.

While this latest increase is relatively small, add it to all the other taxes and levies imposed within the last 13 months, and it again creates doubt, even in the most loyal return visitor, to remind themselves, that they are truly getting value-for-money.

With a UK election to be held within the next month, it may simply be too late to further lobby for APD removal or reduction, so would it be advisable to look at any possible alternatives?

At one stage, the leading Scottish political party stated one of their manifesto objectives would be to either eliminate APD altogether, or at least half the rate on departing flights from their major airports including Glasgow and Edinburgh.

That promise regrettably fell by the wayside.

But, I am absolutely convinced that sustained airlift from both Glasgow (3,609 nm*) and Edinburgh (3,644 nm) are feasible and both cities are in fact closer to Barbados than either Heathrow or Gatwick in direct distance, without the need of expensive and time consuming connecting flights or hotel overnights in London.

We’ should also be looking at direct flights from Belfast (3,527 nm). While

Northern Ireland remains in the United Kingdom there is no APD payable from its airport, offering a substantial cost saving, especially for families.

And finally, Could we resurrect a direct flight from the Republic of Ireland? Dublin (3,486 nm), Cork (3,377 nm) or Shannon (3.391nm).  Again no APD payable and with the incredible advantage of offering the shortest flying time into the Caribbean together with a myriad of European connecting cities, mostly in countries who remain part of the EU.

*nm – nautical miles

2 thoughts on “Adrian Loveridge Column – APD is Still with US!

  1. Ahoy there, Captain Mia! Lookouts reporting big financial iceberg field ahead – and just when loose play in the helm (in good part due to lack of preventive maintenance since her launch) indicates our ability to maintain the good ship Bim’s directional control is called into question!

    Brace For Impact! The U.S. Economy Is Going Down, And It Is Going Down Hard…

    By Michael Snyder

    I have so many bad economic numbers to share with you that I don’t even know where to start. I had anticipated that the U.S. economic slowdown would accelerate during the fourth quarter of 2019, and that is precisely what has happened. The Federal Reserve is trying to do all that it can to keep us from officially slipping into a recession, and the federal government is literally spending money as if tomorrow will never come, but all of that intervention has not been enough to reverse our economic momentum. We are really starting to see conditions begin to deteriorate very rapidly now, and 2020 is already shaping up to be the most pivotal year for the U.S. economy since 2008.

    Let me start my analysis by discussing how U.S. consumers are doing right now. According to CBS News, a major new study that was just released found that 70 percent of all Americans are struggling financially…

    Many Americans remain in precarious financial shape even as the economy continues to grow, with 7 of 10 saying they struggling with at least one aspect of financial stability, such as paying bills or saving money.

    The findings come from a survey of more than 5,400 Americans from the Financial Health Network, a nonprofit financial services consultancy. The project, which started a year ago, is aimed at assessing people’s financial health by asking about debt, savings, bills and wages, among other issues.

    That sure doesn’t sound like a “booming economy”, does it?

    And even though things are already really tough for millions upon millions of American families, it appears that things are rapidly getting worse. In fact, we just witnessed the largest decline for the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index since 2008…


  2. Adrian: I agree that APD are an impediment to travel. They are however becoming a fact of life in most countries Barbados included. I leave it to economists to determine their net value.
    The feasibility of flying from alternate airports , I am sure are studied by the airlines.They can see how much of a market we will say for Barbados for example originates say in Dublin. If the number warrants it they may consider direct service, considering the possible cost of establishing a new base, for flight crew, and ground handling and airport expenses. The cost once airborne of the difference of a hundred or so miles and time difference is minimal.. Perhaps the Barbados Tourist Board should do some marketing in the cities you have mentioned and track the amount of business generated. I applaud your constant efforts to improve airlift to Barbados .

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