October 6 2020  |  Airlines & Airports

UK Government urged to reverse decision

By Hibah Noor

The global representative organizations of the airports and duty and tax free retail industry write to the UK Chancellor of Exchequer, urging the UK Government to reverse its decision to end airport tax free sales to international passengers for all goods other than alcohol and tobacco

Airports Council International (ACI) World has joined with the Duty Free World Council and the Tax Free World Association to urge the UK Government to reverse its decision to end airport tax free sales to international passengers for all goods other than alcohol and tobacco.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought UK and world airports to a standstill – ACI recently revealed that the airport industry is anticipating global passenger numbers to decreaseby 5.6 billion with an unprecedented $104.5 billion reduction in revenue. Sixty per cent of global aviation jobs – including the duty free workforce – are at airports.

As the industry seeks to sustain a restart of operations and plan for a long term recovery, airport tax free sales will form an integral part of airports’ non-aeronautical revenues, contributing to the vitality of the airport business and the development of infrastructure.

However, earlier this month, the UK government confirmed that tax free sales on airside products (except for alcohol and tobacco) will end for all travelers from January 1, 2021.

Tax free products account for around three quarters of retail concession revenues at airports but, if the new duty free policy is enacted, UK airports will be at a major competitive disadvantage compared with other European airports and international peers to which sales will inevitably transfer.

In response, the global representative organizations for the airports and duty and tax free retail industry have written to Chancellor of the Exchequer the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MPto urge him to reconsider this proposal, which is out of step with common practice in practically all international airports across the globe.

“The aviation industry will be a key driver of the UK’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, but this decision by the Government puts this recovery at risk. We urge the UK Government to reverse this ill-advised decision as it threatens the already perilous financial state of the airport industry with UK airports standing to lose hundreds of millions of sales, placing thousands of jobs at risk,” says Luis Felipe de Oliveira, World Director General, ACI.

“Unilateral decisions by individual governments on air transport-related matters including duty free regulations cannot be taken without considering the global industry as a whole. The UK Government’s decision to end tax free sales is an unnecessary blow as airport retailers face the worst crisis ever to impact the aviation industry,”adds Sarah Branquinho, President, Duty Free World Council.

Tax Free World Association President, Alain Maingreaud, says the decision would heavily impact the profitability of the sector as the UK has the largest market in the world for international airport passenger traffic.

“As every international journey involves another origin or destination point outside of the UK, the removal of tax free sales will simply lead to unfavorable economic outcomes not only for the sector, but the UK as a whole.

At a time when it has never been more important to protect revenue and jobs, this decision damages UK-based brands and their ability to sell to international travellers in the UK and beyond. It places the viability of the entire industry at risk,” concludes Maingreaud.

According to the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), when factoring in the full socio-economic impact of aviation, the UK aviation sector contributes £95 billion (120 billion USD) to Gross Domestic Product and as much as 1.6 million jobs are supported by the sector.

Brand News

October 29 2020

L’Oréal produces first plastic…

​French beauty group L’Oréal, together with its partners LanzaTech and Total, have premiered the world’s first sustainable…

By Mary Jane Pittilla

October 29 2020

Quintessential Brands scoops Gin…

​Quintessential Brands has been recognized by one of the top global drinks industry competitions, the International Spirits…

By Mary Jane Pittilla

October 29 2020

Dufry announces changes to executive…

Jose Antonio Gea, Deputy Group CEO of leading operator Dufry, will step down from his position of Deputy CEO and member of…

By Mary Jane Pittilla

October 26 2020

BLOOM Gin provides support to Women…

BLOOM Gin is giving budding female entrepreneurs the chance to win a share of £25,000, turning their passion projects into…

By Laura Shirk

October 21 2020

J. Cortès lights up cigar category…

​Cigar brand J. Cortès has introduced three new Corona terroir tubes

By Mary Jane Pittilla

October 20 2020

Jim Beam announces TR exclusive…

​Jim Beam Bourbon has announced the launch of Lineage – a batched premium expression exclusive to global travel retail

By Laura Shirk

October 19 2020

Beam Suntory launches first ever…

Beam Suntory has launched the first-ever world blended whisky, Suntory World Whisky ‘Ao’, exclusive to global travel retail

By Wendy Morley

October 19 2020

AHC to introduce new skincare products…

​Unilever-owned premium skincare brand AHC is to enhance its travel retail offerings with several new products that have…

By Mary Jane Pittilla

October 16 2020

DFD launches Writing & Arts category…

Duty Free Dynamics, major regional distributor within the Americas’ travel retail channel, is pleased to announce the debut…

By Laura Shirk

Copyright 2020 DutyFree Magazine. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Sitemap