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Belfast International Airport boss presses for abolition of tax on flying

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Belfast International Airport managing director Graham Keddie

Belfast International Airport managing director Graham Keddie

Belfast International Airport managing director Graham Keddie

The boss of Belfast International Airport has said he has made the case for removing air passenger duty (APD) during a visit by the Aviation Minister.

Paul Maynard MP visited the airport yesterday, where he met airport managing director Graham Keddie.

The cost of APD on the sustainability of flights out of NI was back in the headlines last month following the near-collapse of regional airline Flybe, which accounts for around 80% of flights out of Belfast City Airport.

APD of £13 each way is charged on Northern Ireland flights though it has been abolished in the Republic.

Mr Keddie said: "We again made the case for the removal of APD on short-haul routes, and we stressed the importance of direct, reliable, frequent services to the main Great Britain markets for the growth of our economy and the continued development of the local tourism sector.

"If the domestic share of APD was eliminated, it would give this airport, and the Northern Ireland region, the biggest economic boost."

According to Belfast International, Mr Maynard described the discussions as "a very informative session, underlining the importance of air connectivity to the future economic growth of Northern Ireland".

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