EasyJet has today announced 140,000 additional seats on flights from on routes from Belfast to London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Manchester, substantially replacing the loss of FlyBe services on those routes.

Unfortunately, the Isle of Man – which imposes higher Aircraft Passenger Duty than flights within the United Kingdom – has been left out. The new EasyJet announcement does not make any mention of any additional flights to replace the Isle of Man FlyBe flights that were cancelled.

In October 2021, the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance warned that the United Kingdom’s moves to make domestic flights cheaper “will boost airports like Belfast” while the people of the Isle of Man will miss out. Despite our warnings at the time, the Isle of Man Government continues to impose unusually high taxes between Ronaldsway and other airports in these Isles.

“The people and businesses of Belfast are benefiting from improved flights to London, Manchester and Scotland, while the people and businesses of the Isle of Man are missing out,” said Michael Josem of the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance.

“Passengers are going to benefit from the UK Government’s tax cut in ten days. It is not too late for the Isle of Man Government to reverse course and match the UK Government’s efforts to boost connectivity across these Isles,” said Josem. “Now is the perfect time to announce a tax cut to boost the Manx tourism industry ahead of the summer season.”

Currently, passengers flying between airports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will, from April 2023, be subject to a new lower rate of Air Passenger Duty. In effect, this is a restoration of the pre-2001 arrangements. Passengers flying within the four nations of the United Kingdom effectively only pay Aircraft Passenger Duty on one leg of a return journey, rather than both ways. Passengers flying to and from the Isle of Man, however, are forced to pay double tax.