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Michael O’Leary Urges Rishi Sunak to Scrap UK Passenger Tax in Total, to Allow Ryanair Grow Further

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has urged British prime minister Rishi Sunak to remove the passenger tax the UK charges airlines and provide more incentives for carriers – saying Ryanair needs this to happen if it is to grow further at British airports.

Mr O’Leary was commenting on the back of Ryanair announcing significant growth to its route network in London for this summer.

The airline has added six new routes – to Asturias, Belfast, Cornwall, Edinburgh, Klagenfurt and Leipzig – from its three London bases. Ryanair currently covers more than 180 routes from London Stansted, Gatwick and Luton.

The expansion has been helped by the UK’s 50% cut in APD – or Air Passenger Duty – tax. But, this cut only covers domestic UK flights.

Ryanair has complained this 50% reduction ignores international connectivity, which – it argues – is fundamental for the growth of the UK’s economy and tourism. Ryanair wants the British government to fully abolish APD for all travel immediately. It said this would not only promote tourism, but support much needed connectivity to the UK.

Ryanair group chief executive Michael O’Leary said:While the halving of APD on domestic flights from April ’23 has allowed Ryanair to add more domestic routes to our UK schedule for Summer ’23 – including London Stansted to Belfast, Cornwall and Edinburgh – if we are to continue to grow and drive traffic/tourism recovery for the UK, Prime Minister Sunak should immediately scrap APD for all travel and provide incentives for airlines like Ryanair to stimulate growth and recovery for the UK, including London.

Ryanair group chief executive, Michael O’Leary
British prime minister Rishi Sunak
Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.
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