25 MARCH 2013
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Air Passenger Duty (APD) was not mentioned by Chancellor George Osborne in his actual budget speech last week and therefore received minimal coverage by the media. This is a technique known as “burying”, which also covers the publication of the Aviation Bill (see below).
The major organisations involved in air transport all put out statements condemning the planned 2.5% rise next month including the “group of four”, Walsh – McCall – O’Leary and Keeper, representing British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic respectively.
The current legalisation does not differentiate between Premium Economy and First Class. Both will from April pay £188 tax on trips to where the capital of the destination country is more than 6,000 miles from London. It is more attractive for passengers from the UK Provinces to book flights to Continental gateways, and then separately to a final point. The British airlines miss out. Ryanair will not pick up any of this traffic and easyJet only to a limited extent.
Domestically it will cost a family of four £104 in taxes alone for a return trip between Luton and Edinburgh. From Belfast International to New York by United Airlines tax is currently £12 & £24. If Scottish devolution were to succeed this could also happen from Edinburgh and Glasgow airports. www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2013.htm
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