Travel boss welcomes Air Passenger Duty freeze

by Alister POOLE on March 22, 2011

The head of Tui Travel has praised the government’s move to freeze Air Passenger Duty (APD) in tomorrow’s Budget. Speaking to Travel Weekly, Tui CEO Peter Long said he would be happy if there was no overall increase in APD.

After the Treasury initially said that it would raise APD in line with inflation later this year, Chancellor George Osborne is expected to backtrack on such plans in Wednesday’s Budget announcement. Ruling out the move that would have seen APD receipts increase by £150 million, Osborne said at the weekend that he has no intention of asking for more from already cash-strapped holidaymakers.

Long suggested that the extra money from the ADP rates for business class could be used to provide a bit more leg room in economy, adding that otherwise they would look to take the premium economy class out of all aircraft.

Long also told Travel Weekly that he hopes to get Tui’s branding right so it will not affect travel to the Carribbean. Flights to the popular sun spot are taxed much higher than those to Hawaii, California or even neighbouring Florida.

He said, however, that APD on demand to the Caribbean may not be a bad thing, as the country needs to “balance the books”. He added that Tui will lobby against extra taxes but said that the charges need to be focused on those who can afford them.

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