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Think tank: aviation ‘must be a priority’ for trade strategy

An in-depth look at NDC

Think tank the Independent Transport Commission (ITC) has called on the government to make the aviation industry a priority in its economic strategy “in order to properly equip global Britain” after Brexit.

The ITC says its statistics demonstrate the economic value of supporting the aviation industry, claiming it delivers higher productivity, higher-paying jobs, increased foreign investment and a boost to trade.

The think tank’s report focused on four key benefits of greater air connectivity, including:

  • It claims direct flights compensate for around 10 per cent of the negative effects of international borders.
  • Each day in transit on global supply chains is “equivalent to applying a value added tax of between 0.6 and 2.1 per cent”, which it says air connectivity reduces.
  • An airline route between two metropolitan areas “leads to a 4.6 per cent increase in venture capital investment, a 2.5 per cent increase in the likelihood of investment and increased success rates”.
  • The report shows a 10 per cent increase in intercontinental flights leads to a 4 per cent increase in business headquarters.

Dr Matthew Niblett, director of the ITC, commented: “If we do not fast track support for the UK’s aviation sector, then the aspirations laid out in the industrial strategy and the Brexit talks will remain stacked in the congested skies above south east England.

“The blueprint for harnessing the growth potential of the aviation sector is simple. Reshape aviation taxes and investment incentives, promote airport expansion and strike new international air service agreements with key trading partners and new growth areas.”

Read the full report by Dr Rebecca Driver of Analytically Driven here.

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