Airlines warn Government over increased Air Passenger Duty

by Tiffany Millar on October 29, 2010

UK airlines have lashed out against the Government’s plans to raise Air Passenger Duty for the second consecutive year in a row.

The travel industry has called the move ‘counter-productive’ and a ‘disaster’ as British holidaymakers already have had to tighten their purse strings when heading overseas. Extra air taxes could jump as much as 50 per cent for some flights with UK air passengers being left up to £100 extra out of pocket.

Thomas Cook said that the increase would prove a counter-productive move for the industry and British Airways’ Willie Walsh said it would be a ‘disaster’. Virgin Atlantic has also spoken out against the tax hikes saying it could make travel ‘unaffordable’ for some.

Air Passenger Duty is calculated using a band system with the globe separated into four bands. Each band has a different price tag depending on what region it is in. However, many travel industry players argue that the system is flawed because Band B, which accounts for the US, costs less than parts of the Caribbean in Band C, despite the Caribbean being closer.

Chief commercial officer, Julie Southern from Virgin Atlantic, said that the holidays were a valued part of British lifestyle especially during the economic downturn. She said that upping taxes at a time when pockets are already fragile could make going abroad ‘unaffordable’ for many UK families.

{ 1 comment }

George October 31, 2010 at 11:59 am

A lot of complaining from the aviation industry about the rise in Air Passenger Duty. They are misleading people. The aviation industry is not over-taxed. Even with the rise in APD it is still undertaxed. The Exchequer is losing around £10 billion because aviation fuel is tax-free and the industry pays no VAT. The income from APD is still well below half that figure.

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