Michael O’Leary – loved, presumably, by his mother and probably not many else – truly wants passengers to pay less to fly. Of course, that’s the point of a low-cost carrier like Ryanair, right? Well, O’Leary, the airline’s CEO, loves his passengers so much that he doesn’t want them to pay taxes. At least, not the UK’s Air Passenger Duty.
Someone has to get slammed, though. If one tax goes away, there needs to be another to take its place.
Always thinking ahead, O’Leary has suggested that the burden be shifted to the hospitality industry, which could replace most of the revenue from the Air Passenger Duty with a modest levy of £1 per night on hotel rooms.
In fairness, O’Leary notes that the APD is the highest flight tax in the world, and it’s keeping people off planes. Since 2007, he told the Daily Telegraph, “Visitor numbers to Britain have fallen from 33 million to 29.5 million.” Now, the fact that the global financial crisis and subsequent recession happened during this period may (or may not) have something to do with the drop in visits to Britain, but doubtless, there’s a role in it for the tax, too.
I guess this is a case of passing the buck in the most literal of senses.
Don’t cry for Michael O’Leary … he has a rockin’ cheering section: