Jamaica’s McNeill: British Air Passenger Duty “Still a Serious Problem”

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Above: Tourism Minister Wykeham McNeill (JIS Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The British Air Passenger Duty remains a “serious problem,” although Jamaica has managed to “turn the corner” a bit, according to Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill.

He said efforts to improve Jamaica’s profile in the United Kingdom had seen some success in the early going.

“Where others have been [experiencing] a bit of attrition, we have turned the corner a bit … so we are very encouraged by this,” he said this week. “[But] the APD is still a serious problem.”

The APD taxes flights originating in the United Kingdom. The Caribbean has charged that the way it is calculated disproportionately impacts the region.

For example, flying from London to Hawaii or Los Angeles carries the same amount of tax as flying to Washington, DC, while flying to the Caribbean means a higher rate of tax than any of those flights, despite a shorter distance.

“That’s why the Caribbean has come together and has been lobbying so hard, because it is having an absolute and relative effect,” he said. “