Naomi Long MP said: “The differential in duty charged on flights between north and south places our airports at a competitive disadvantage and the scrapping of duty in the south exacerbates an existing problem.
“Crucially, it shows the emphasis the Irish Government place on APD in terms of its effect on the wider economy, reinforcing studies presented to Treasury by Oxford Economics and PwC which indicated that APD was growth limiting and that the revenue loss from abolishing or significantly reducing it would be recouped through increased revenue linked to economic growth.
“Given Northern Ireland’s reliance on air travel as well as our unique proximity to Irish airports, the effects of this differential are all the more acute.
“The devolution and reduction of long haul air passenger duty helped retain our single transatlantic flight and provided a base on which we could build for the future. We now need to deal with short haul APD to level the playing field and stimulate growth.
“Just last week, about 100 international companies attended the investment conference and saw what Northern Ireland has to offer. For that to bear fruit, developing our connectivity is key, and APD is part of that package.”