March 11, 2020

(11 March 2020 – Atlanta) APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) today strongly encouraged governments worldwide to issue immediate tax relief in an even-handed manner for the airline industry in the wake of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus).  Representing nearly every major airline in the world, APEX believes that governments around the globe have a responsibility to reduce taxation upon airlines during this unprecedented disruption due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  

Aviation remains one of the most heavily taxed industries worldwide with an estimated $136 billion in taxes being paid via airlines this year ranging from 5% to over 50% of total passenger ticket cost. As airlines are a leading global economic driver, APEX has put forward three key recommendations:

  1.  Reduce all possible global tax burdens on airlines during this stressful time,
  2.  Suspend “hidden taxes” such as forced slot and gate utilization, and
  3.  Remove any new aviation taxes / penalties from consideration.

“Airlines are critical to our world’s economy and connecting the lives of billions,” said APEX CEO Dr. Joe Leader.  “APEX’s recommendations for governments reducing taxation, penalties, and slot/gate bureaucracy in the midst of a crisis will go a long way toward ensuring economic recovery.  Now more than ever, we need to enable airline resources and funds to go into both the health of our industry and our customers worldwide.”

APEX’s position on the slot rule suspension aligns with IATA’s recent request to suspend global slot rules due to the COVID-19.  Following the initial steps taken by the European Union this week, this would allow airlines the opportunity to better manage the total number of flights at the over 200 slot-coordinated airports worldwide during these extraordinary times.  Given the severity of the crisis, APEX expects that all slot and gate allowance measures extend fully through the summer season effective immediately.

For industry updates and information related to COVID-19, visit  For more information about APEX, please visit, sign up for the APEX Daily Experience e-newsletter, or follow APEX on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

About the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)

As a global non-profit and one of the world’s largest international airline associations, APEX accelerates our industry with the backing of nearly every major airline and valued supplier.  In conjunction with both the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and Future Travel Experience (FTE), APEX serves the full spectrum of the end-to-end travel experience.  APEX reinvests all of its resources to serving its members, strengthening the worldwide airline industry, advancing thought-leadership, fostering business opportunities via events, developing global initiatives, setting key airline standards, and highlighting well-deserved recognition across our industry.  For more information, please visit