UK Increases Flight Taxes

November 2, 2009 Taxation in UK  No comments

The Air Passenger Duties (APD) faced by UK fliers has risen, with some seats seeing a charge of £110 at departure.

Much to the uproar of the air travel industry, departure duties faced by UK travelers increased on the 1st of November. The distance banding system and the travel class system which were used to determine the APD levy have also been expanded, allowing for a wider range in determining the exact levy liability of each passenger.

The new APD system will determine duties charged on a seat by judging whether it is in the lowest passenger class or what the government has deemed as “other”, and also by dividing flights into one of the four pre-determined distance bands. Flight distance is calculated as the mileage between London and the capital of the destination country.

Destinations within 2,000 miles will be classed as Band A and be charged £11 for economy class and £22 for any other. Band B will contain destinations between 2,001 and 4,000 miles, with charges set for £45 and £90 depending on class. Band C covers distances of 4,001 and 6,000 miles, and will see a levy of £50 and £100. Lastly, Band D will consist of trips exceeding 6,000 miles, and see APD levies of £55 and £110, class dependent.

The tax hike is facing great outcry from figures in the travel industry. Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic, said “These proposed increases will not only hurt the aviation industry but also harm the British economy and those of many developing countries, like the Caribbean, which heavily rely on the tourism trade”. Silla Maizey, Customer Service Director of British Airways, echoed these words, saying “These huge tax hikes are very bad news for holidaymakers and completely unjustified”.


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