Air passenger duty rises by 8%

plane at sunset

Air passenger duty (APD), the tax we all pay when we purchase flights, rose by 8% yesterday.

The duty has risen from £12 to £13 on short-haul flights, while anyone travelling long-haul will pay £92 instead of £85.

The tax has soared over the past decade. In 2005, a family of four travelling long-haul would have paid £80 in APD, but by 2016 that is expected to have risen to £500.

In a joint statement, the bosses of Easyjet, British Airways owner IAG, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic have urged the treasury to review the tax.

APD rise

"APD rises again on April Fool's Day but the public should not be fooled again by this tax and the damage it does to them, to jobs and to the wider economy.

"We urge George Osborne to make APD the first tax to be examined under the Treasury's new review of the wider impacts of taxation on the economy and to halt the proposed rise in APD to £500 for a family of four until this review is complete.

The APD rise is also affecting business travellers heading to the UK. Including a £78 visa charge, every Chinese business traveller pays almost £250 to the government before they even arrive in the UK, far more than they pay when visiting Germany or France.

The British Air Transport Association has branded APD a "tax on tourism" and says that the UK now has the world's highest taxes on flying. The tax is set to rise again next year by a further £2 for short-haul and £4 for long-haul flights.

"These level of increases cannot be sustained and make it more expensive for British families to go on a sunshine holiday and for overseas tourists to visit Britain. This lack of joined up thinking muse be addressed and we urge the government to undertake an independent study of the damage the tax is doing to the UK economy," says Simon Buck, chief executive of the British Air Transport Association.


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