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Northern Ireland Flight Tax Cut In Force

by Jason Gorringe,, London

10 November 2011

Changes to Northern Ireland's Air Passenger Duty (APD) charges have come into effect, with long-haul passengers now benefiting from lower rates once applicable only to shorter journeys.

As of November 1, 2011, passengers travelling on direct long-haul routes departing from airports in Northern Ireland will be charged the short-haul (or 'Band A') rates of APD, applicable irrespective of the destination.

The Band A classification relates to journeys where a passenger travels up to 2,000 miles from London. The rate for these trips is currently GBP12 (USD19) per passenger in economy class and GBP24 for business and first class passengers.

For the purposes of this measure, a flight is deemed to be a direct long-haul flight and will attract the new rate where the passenger's journey begins from an airport in Northern Ireland, the first part of the journey is to a destination outside Band A and that part of the journey is direct and does not connect elsewhere beforehand.

Connections beyond the first part of the journey for the purposes of this specific measure will also benefit from the reduction to Band A rates.

The change, announced by the Chancellor on September 27, will have effect in relation to any carriage of a passenger which begins on or after November 1, irrespective of when the ticket for travel was booked or purchased.

Upon announcement of the rate cut, George Osborne said: “The government has taken proactive measures to protect the only direct long-haul service operating from Northern Ireland and with it the jobs of those who serve the Belfast route. Northern Ireland faces a unique challenge in attracting traffic – including very valuable business customers – into its airports. By announcing this immediate cut and our intention to devolve aspects of APD, the UK government is renewing its commitment to stimulating and rebalancing the Northern Ireland economy.”

TAGS: individuals | tax | air passenger duty (APD) | aviation | United Kingdom | travel and tourism | tax rates | tax breaks

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