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Ex Caledonian Exec Jim French Fights Back on High Taxes and Political Meddling

Ex Caledonian Exec Jim French Fights Back on High Taxes and Political Meddling

Old Aug 19, 06, 3:00 pm
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Ex Caledonian Exec Jim French Fights Back on High Taxes and Political Meddling

Marginally OT, as Jim French is now CEO of flybe, but as an exec of Caledonian when owned by BA, this article presents some cogent arguments and is an interesting insight into fighting back the relentless drive to tax aviation further.

Much of this article was featured in Airliner World this month, and for those interested in both the enviromental impact of air travel, and security, it makes some very good points, and well worth a read:

Air travel is no longer an elite form of transport for the privileged few. It is a commodity, which must ultimately face the economic pressures, which faces every other industry. Winners and losers. Sadly far too many politicians, particularly in Europe, have not woken up to the fact that aviation is now a public transport system which is privately funded and paid for by its users. Our industry is a target for every politician to have a pop at. Some of the legislation emanating from Europe is designed to disadvantage us compared to other modes of transport (which incidentally are heavily subsidised) and demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the role of aviation in today’s society.

http://www.flybe.com/news/0502/09.htm
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Old Nov 5, 06, 4:17 am
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Bumping this as although it garnered no interest at the time, it is well worth reading, and deserving of a distinct thread, also.
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Old Nov 5, 06, 4:23 am
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Originally Posted by Jim French
...Some of the legislation emanating from Europe is designed to disadvantage us compared to other modes of transport (which incidentally are heavily subsidised) and demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the role of aviation in today’s society.
I'd have said he displays a "fundamental lack of understanding" of the problem. Is he a spokesman for SPURT?
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Old Nov 5, 06, 8:19 am
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I fail to see any logic in the rant of this man... He argues that you shouldn't tax airlines, as that would be give others an unfair advantage. However everyone else is already taxed, only airlines are exempt for e.g. VAT and fuel duty???

And what exactly is the role of aviation (or does he mean LCCs?) in today's society that makes it so important and allows to dump lots of CO2 into the atmosphere? E.g. doubling the costs of all flights would be a major inconvenience, but most businesses would find ways to reduce the need for travel.
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Old Nov 6, 06, 5:52 am
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Originally Posted by frankvb
I fail to see any logic in the rant of this man... He argues that you shouldn't tax airlines, as that would be give others an unfair advantage. However everyone else is already taxed, only airlines are exempt for e.g. VAT and fuel duty???

And what exactly is the role of aviation (or does he mean LCCs?) in today's society that makes it so important and allows to dump lots of CO2 into the atmosphere? E.g. doubling the costs of all flights would be a major inconvenience, but most businesses would find ways to reduce the need for travel.
But his argument is that commercial aviation is just another method of public transport and hence being tax-free would just keep it in line with other public transport that is tax free such as buses and trains (at least in the UK).

I'm not necessarily agreeing with his stance though as I believe there should be a higher 'flat' rate charge on flights.
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Old Nov 6, 06, 6:47 am
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Originally Posted by frankvb
However everyone else is already taxed, only airlines are exempt for e.g. VAT and fuel duty???
Airlines are not "exempt from tax".

Sure they do not suffer duty on fuel, but nor do other methods of public transport, and of course were this to be imposed airlines would simply purchase more of it elsewhere (eg at an outstation).

Airlines do however suffer Air Passenger Duty, a tax which is levied on no other public transportation; on small trips this comproses and enormous multiple of the fare iteself. For most tickets purchased this is far more than would be the case if VAt was charged. And again people would simply purchase outside the UK to reduce exposure, so again it would be impractical.

BA is profitable, those profits are taxed, and unlike many unprofitable public transport providers, BA does at least support the Treasury in this way.
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Old Nov 7, 06, 5:13 am
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Originally Posted by oyster
But his argument is that commercial aviation is just another method of public transport and hence being tax-free would just keep it in line with other public transport that is tax free such as buses and trains (at least in the UK).
Ok, I had no idea that public transport in the UK was tax-free. Not that you notice it in the price BTW: does that mean VAT-free and fuel duty free? Reading krug's post I suppose it does.
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Old Dec 6, 06, 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by frankvb View Post
Ok, I had no idea that public transport in the UK was tax-free. Not that you notice it in the price BTW: does that mean VAT-free and fuel duty free? Reading krug's post I suppose it does.
Fuel and tickets are VAT Free, but APD is charged, and apt to bump this now:

"Intense competition; political interference and now a major security target. Consumer’s rights and environmental pressures will increase in the future. Consumers demanding a deflationary society for as long as he/she can get away with it. And why not, I do exactly the same when I act as a consumer!

Sadly far too many politicians, particularly in Europe, have not woken up to the fact that aviation is now a public transport system which is privately funded and paid for by its users. Our industry is a target for every politician to have a pop at. Some of the legislation emanating from Europe is designed to disadvantage us compared to other modes of transport (which incidentally are heavily subsidised) and demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the role of aviation in today’s society.
"
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