According to a report released by Airports Council International (ACI) Europe has revealed that the UK’s direct aviation connectivity has declined for a second year in a row.

The report revealed that the UK was the only major European economy to see a decline in direct connectivity. The -0.8% decline followed a similar decline of -0.8% in 2018.

The report delves into the dynamics and performance of air connectivity for and across the continent – down to each individual airport that is part of the European aviation system.

Compared with previous years, the report shows that across the continent and despite passenger traffic expanding by +4.4% (Q1 2019) direct connectivity from Europe’s airports is proving to be weak in 2019 (+1.2%).

But referencing the UK’s decline, the UK Airport Operators Association (AOA) believes this should be a wake-up call for the UK Government as it prepares its Aviation Strategy White Paper.

“The connectivity growth figures show that while more UK passengers are flying, the destinations they’re able to travel to directly is shrinking,” said Karen Dee, AOA’s CEO.

“The Aviation Strategy should provide a framework that enables all UK airports to grow sustainably, both in terms of how we can make best use of existing infrastructure, as well as new runways and terminals.”

Dee also reiterated the need to address the fact that Air Passenger Duty (APD) is the highest aviation tax in the developed world – double that of Germany, the next highest such tax in the EU. “Cutting APD in half to match Germany’s tax is one of the quickest ways to boost direct connectivity growth,” she added.

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