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ABTA Launches Campaign Against Air Tax

by Amanda Banks,, London

30 August 2010

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is calling on people to write to their MPs to stop the government from increasing taxes on long haul flights later this year. The increase will particularly affect the cost of flights to the Caribbean.

Currently if you fly economy to the Caribbean you pay GBP50 in Air Passenger Duty. From November 1 this goes up to GBP75. This means a family of four going to visit friends and relatives who currently pay GBP200 in tax will pay GBP300 for flights on or after November 1. If you have paid for extra legroom in premium economy you will pay double the amount.

The British government has backtracked on claims that APD is a green tax as already the GBP2bn pounds raised each year is much greater than the cost of environmental damage caused by flying. UK airlines will be joining the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme in 2012, which they claim is a much fairer and more efficient way of addressing environmental concerns.

Luke Pollard, ABTA Head of Public Affairs said: “With taxes on flights to the Caribbean rising faster than inflation it means that experiencing it first hand is becoming more expensive.”

“Flying should not be the preserve of the rich and nor should it become more expensive for Brits to visit friends and family in the Caribbean. Raising taxes on flying harms tourism and damages the economies of Caribbean islands at the very time that they need help the most.”

“The government proposes doubling taxes on flying over the next five years. This will have a devastating effect on Caribbean tourism, the economies in the Caribbean and the ability of Britons to visit family and friends on the islands. It is time the government thought again about hiking aviation taxes.”

TAGS: tax | aviation | United Kingdom

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