Domestic air travellers hit hardest by APD

18 September 2018 08:46

Passengers are currently charged APD on flights departing from UK airports, meaning that they pay out twice for all domestic return trips.

Passengers are currently charged APD on flights departing from UK airports, meaning that they pay out twice for all domestic return trips.

As much as £6 of every £10 spent on domestic flights in the UK goes on Air Passenger Duty (APD), new research suggests.

The analysis was carried out by the A Fair Tax On Flying Campaign, which called on Chancellor Philip Hammond to cut APD by at least 50% in the upcoming Autumn Budget.

Air passengers are currently charged APD on flights departing from UK airports, meaning that they pay out twice for all domestic return trips.

The rate for a short-haul economy classic ticket is £13 per leg, with the money raised going to the Treasury.

Domestic returns

A Fair Tax on Flying Campaign calculated what this charge is as a proportion of 18 air fares for domestic return flights booked on September 11, for travel on October 16 and 17.

The highest figure was 58% for London Stansted easyJet flights to Glasgow and Edinburgh, which both cost £45.

This was followed by Flybe flights from Southampton to Manchester (54% of £48), easyJet flights from Belfast International to Edinburgh (52% of £50) and Flybe flights from Cardiff to Edinburgh (46% of £56).

Exorbitant tax

Henk van Klaveren, spokesman for the campaign, said: "This exorbitant tax on all short haul and long-haul flights hurts the UK economy.

"It's a tax on trade and a tax on holidays. And this analysis shows that it is an unfair burden to business and leisure travellers making return flights within the UK.

"This damages connectivity, regional economies and the overall country. It is a definite brake on growing the benefits of tourism and business travel across the country.

"We are urging the Chancellor to decisively cut APD in the Budget by at least 50% across all bands of travel. This will help move the UK towards a more level playing field with some of our neighbouring economies."

Passengers on flights leaving from airports in the Scottish Highlands and Islands region are exempt from APD.

If you're planning to holiday in the UK, make sure you take a look at our dedicated UK and Channel Islands travel insurance.

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