Willie Walsh has asked the travel industry to change its suggestion for a per-plane duty over APD. Speaking at the ABTA Travel Convention, the BA Chief Executive said the industry needed to unite in its lobbying to the government. “We applaud your vigorous campaign against APD, a tax that is socially regressive not just to the UK, but tourism in destinations,” he said. “But however we do call on you to reconsider your alternative per-plane tax, which we believe would have even more of an impact environmentally and economically”. In addition, Walsh thanked the trade for its efforts during the ash cloud crisis and thanked the industry for its help during a challenging year. “Turning away from the trade would have been a disaster as you drive lots of business,” said Walsh. “Although we dropped commission, I have spoken to agents who have said that it gave them added value.” BA Sales and Marketing Director Andrew Crawley added that the airline’s full content agreement with GDS systems had shown their commitment and net fares would be available to new tour operators which want to work with the airline. Meanwhile, Walsh warned that the airline industry will continue to consolidate in the future if it is to survive. The BA Chief Executive said its agreement with Iberia and American Airlines will offer more for the trade and customers. “The merger will give you a whole host of new options to sell, a broader network and more fares,” he explained.