UK Outcry Over New Air Tax

Tuesday 02nd, November 2010 / 10:07 Published by
in Travel

Travellers to the Bahamas are about to find themselves paying £25 more per head for the privilege of leaving Britain.

UK holidaymakers are now faced with a rise of passenger airport tax

Air Passenger Duty is being revised this week and anomalies in the system have created disadvantages for countries like Egypt and the whole of the Caribbean region.

The tax has been divided into four different bands, all are set according to the distance of country’s capital city from London: up to 2,000 miles; 2,001-,4000 miles; 4,001-6,000 miles and more than 6,000 miles.

So anyone flying to the Caribbean will now be charged £75 in APD – a 50% rise from the previous rate of £50 as part of Band C charges.

However, travellers to Los Angeles will only be subjected to Band B charges of £60, despite being four hours further away.

Travelsupermarket.com’s Bob Atkinson called the tax “regressive” while Willie Walsh of British Airways called the tax “a disgrace”.

Other airline executives from major airlines joined Mr Walsh in denouncing the plans.

Michael O’Leary (Ryanair), Julie Southern (Virgin Atlantic) and Carolyn McCal (easyJet) have unanimously criticised the rise.

“Given the forecasted rises in APD over the next five years, all travellers will be more than paying their fair share and in fact are contributing more than the banks via the new banking levy”, said Ms Southern.

The UK already has the highest airport departure tax in Europe and many commentators are pushing for a different method of taxation.

Ms McCal of easyJet was quoted as saying that the “UK passengers and the environment would be better off if the tax was shifted from per person to a per plane tax.”

Source: Lucie McInerney,
Sky News Online

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