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In light of no change to Air Passenger Duty, what does this mean for sustainable aviation fuel?

The UK’s new Minister for Aviation, Maritime and Security has outlined the country’s stance on a number of key issues affecting the aviation industry. These include Air Passenger Duty (APD) and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Speaking at the Airlines 2022 conference in London on November 21st, Baroness Vere said she doesn’t want to reduce the Air Passenger Duty any further because “we just did a review of it.”

The UK’s Air Passenger Duty (APD) ranges from £6.50 ($7.70) for domestic flights on economy class up to £191 ($227) for long-haul, business or first class tickets. There is now a higher rate applied to the majority of private jet flights as well.

There is a need for greater investment in SAF.

Lady Vere also outlined the UK Government’s commitment to sustainably-produced aviation fuel, confirming they would be building five new plants in the next five years.

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Looking back at the progress made on plants until now, only one plant in the UK has participated in a final investment decision. I’m concerned that these five plants won’t be able to provide 75% of our capacity for SAF by 2025 and we’ll have to rely on fewer sites abroad.

Weiss said that SAF investors are still awaiting final details or more likely, another consultation

When it comes to investment in SAF, the UK government has pledged just £165 million ($195 million), while the U.S. has promised $4.3 billion.

Without changes to APD, where will the money needed for future SAF developments come from? Baroness Vere raised that question at the Airlines 2022 conference taking place in New York City this month.

“I’m not sure what the answer is to that question, but it’s definitely a topic for a much bigger debate about how cities function.”

Improvements in consumer protection

Baroness Vere recently highlighted the challenges the UK faced this summer on her way to the plenary session. She stated that due to consumer frustration, she wanted a clear plan of how to make passenger safety a top priority.

Airlines across Europe and North America are targeting their recruitment campaigns to ensure they have enough staff to cope with the expected increase in travel demand next summer. Lufthansa, a German flag carrier, is currently seeking 20,000 new employees.