Government £172 Million Flight Tax Hike to Hit At Easter

From 1st April this year long haul air travellers will be hit by a rise in UK Air Passenger Duty (APD). The rise of £3.00 per economy ticket and £6.00 per higher class ticket was announced in Spring Budget 2017 but will come into force on affected flights from 1st April 2018.

The A Fair Tax on Flying Campaign, which is backed by a coalition of Airlines UK, the Airport Operators Association, ABTA The Travel Association, and BAR UK (the trade body representing overseas airlines) has strongly criticised this latest rise and is calling for a cut of at least 50% in APD, to bring the UK into line with the country with the next highest rate of aviation tax in the EU, Germany.

Tim Cade, from Airlines UK and spokesperson for the group said, ‘UK consumers and travellers flying for business are already paying the highest tax of this kind in the world. This rise is another tax grab that will swell the Treasury’s coffers by an extra £172 Million on top of the £3.3 Billion that the Treasury raked in from air passengers last year. For families who work hard for their well-earned breaks, this is just another unfair increase in APD. It also sends exactly the wrong signal to our overseas tourism markets and trade partners considering flying to the UK for business.

UK APD is the highest aviation tax of its kind in the EU by a huge margin. It is double the next highest EU member, Germany. The tax is levied in 2 bands, Band A for destinations less than 2,000 miles away and Band B for destinations more than 2,000 miles away. APD on a long-haul economy ticket is set to rise from an already substantial £75 per ticket to £78 per ticket. So a couple taking their family to Florida will be paying £156 in tax. APD was introduced in 1994 as £5 on short haul and £10 on long haul. That means the long haul economy rate has risen from £10 to £78, a rise of 680% since 1994.

Mr Cade added, ‘We need an urgent cut of at least 50% on this damaging tax to support families and trade, save jobs, boost growth and help get Britain Brexit-ready’.

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