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14th April 2014
Baltic Air Charter Association survey predicts positive growth for 2014
The results of a survey conducted by the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) shows that its members are confident that business conditions will improve during 2014. The response to the survey* of BACA members has been outstanding and delivers an interesting snapshot of where BACA members see business progressing. For example 66.7% believe that private jet charter revenue will increase in 2014 while a further 29% believe it will be the same in 2014 as 2013. Only 4.3% anticipate a decline compared to 2013. Most growth potential is expected to be from existing clients flying more frequently.
Since 2008 a number of surveys have highlighted the negative impact Air Passenger Duty is having on the UK economy. The 2014 BACA survey underlines this with 55.9% of survey respondents believing that UK operators can sell more flights if APD was excluded. Meanwhile 71% of the answers show that APD is having an impact on international investment in the UK. Another aspect of APD is the unfair nature of the tax with 58.2% of respondents believing that more than 25% of non-UK private jet operators are not paying APD, and are therefore not operating within the law, an issue that passengers may not be aware of. However the problem may not just be a UK tax and legislation issue with 32.8% answers in the survey seeing Europe as the region that will have the anticipated lowest growth in private flights in 2014/15.
Nearly half of the members that answered the survey believe that price is seen as the biggest barrier to entry level customers. Therefore anything that increases the price of flights, either by increased taxation or legislation, will have a negative impact on the anticipated growth for 2014. With the UK budget in just a few days it is clear that any further increases in APD will mean that UK brokers and operators will find it more difficult to compete with brokers and operators in countries where the taxes do not apply.
Tony Coe, Chairman of BACA, comments on the results of the survey “It is good to see that our members are positive for the future. Private aircraft can be seen as one of the key indicators of economic growth and the results of the BACA survey seem to underline that growth is taking place globally. However I should add a note of caution, as growth gathers pace it is important that activities are performed legally and with the safety and security that flying with a BACA member company offers. The codes of practice that BACA members adhere to is the best guarantee to ensure that flights are the safe, secure, legal, and will be carried out the highest standards and best practices currently on offer. * 145 Members of BACA participated in the survey.