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Article from BTNews 1 NOVEMBER 2021

Aviation tax and The Budget *

Don’t get too excited with the Chancellor’s Budget announcement of changes in Air Passenger Duty (APD) payments.

They are not expected to be brought in until April 2023.  The tax applies to adult (aged 16 and over) passengers boarding a flight from a UK airport.

The rate of APD depends on the class of travel and the destination of the flight.

For trips of up to 2,000 miles (which covers Cyprus but not Israel), the current figure is £13. For UK domestic flights, the rate will halve to £6.50 but you will still be charged both ways, even if it is the same day.

Long-haul flights are currently subject to APD of £82 in Economy, already due to increase to £84 in April 2022. From 2023, trips of 2,000-5,500 miles will rise to £87, with trips over 5,500 miles subject to a slightly higher tax £91.  Why this insignificant increase only the Treasury knows!

In Premium Economy, Business Class and First Class, rates are at least twice as high – until April 2022, £26 for short-haul and £180 for long-haul. These rates also apply to children aged two or above.

The higher rate applies if the ‘seat pitch’ (the distance from the front of one seat to the front of the next) is over 40 inches.

Private jets pay much higher rates: £78 for short-haul, £541 for long-haul.

The APD liability depends on your final destination. If you are travelling on a ‘through ticket,’ eg Manchester – Amsterdam – Hong Kong or Birmingham – Frankfurt – Mumbai with less than 24hrs at the transit point, the long-haul rate applies.


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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

Albert Free, Brighton

Why why the delay?

Celia Smart, United Kingdom

Just what is the reason for the delay. Is it a cunning plan for him to gain some glory when he becomes PM in 2023?

John Jones, West Ham

The chances of the airlines passing on the tax to passengers is zero. The real question is why the double whammy. Travellers should be taxed on a day journey basis. If you nightstop fair enough but a day return journey from London to Scotland should only be taxed once.

Dale Keller, London

The changes to APD reflect automatically in the ticket price since the fare component is filed in GDS separately to taxes and charges. We have expressed our concerns to Treasury that these changes are tinkering with a broken tax that has no environmental credentials. The domestic change removes an anomaly and brings into line with Europe exactly as was originally intended - so is this correction really a cut in the real sense? The public will not be fooled into thinking a penny of this tax goes towards environmental measures and it was a missed opportunity to review the entire thing and do something meaningful for consumers, the environment and the industry.

John Richmond, Lochwinnoch United Kingdom

I hope that airlines will pass the reduction in APD on domestic flights will be passed on to passengers.