Duty-free bargains at airports will end on goods including perfume, clothing, and electronics from January 1. Ministers announced tax savings will now only apply to sales of alcohol and tobacco
amid fears Treasury move could see airports go bust
The decision, which affects all outbound passengers, has been called a ‘hammer blow’ to struggling airports.
As much as 40 percent of their income comes from airside retailers.
Industry experts say it could lead to thousands of job losses as shops pull out of airports.
They fear some regional airports could even go bust.
It has intensified calls for an airport COVID-19 testing regime to re-open Britain’s skies.
Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association,
said: ‘The Government have once again shown a complete lack of awareness for the jobs and businesses
on the line in the aviation sector.
‘Our industry is weathering the worst crisis in the history of civil aviation, it can scarcely afford another
hammer blow like this.
‘By removing the airside statutory concession, the Government is needlessly harming the revenue of retailers and airports.
Passengers will be disincentivized from making purchases as they travel through the UK.
‘Many foreign visitors will now choose to go elsewhere, attracted by the beneficial tax and excise regimes of our
This will harm not only UK airports, but the high street stores that hugely benefit from tourists.