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The latest hike in taxes on air travel in the UK has been met with scorn by many in the aviation industry.
Passengers choosing to fly started to pay more for their tickets from today (November 1), as the latest round of Air Passenger Duty (APD) increases were introduced.
According to Mike Carrivick, the CEO of the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR UK), air passengers are being discriminated against, and warned that non-UK residents are being discouraged from flying from British airports.
“The airline industry and its customers cannot afford the international competitiveness of the UK to slide any further,” said Carrivick.
He called on the treasury not to implement any further increases, as BAR UK’s members are already experiencing negative impacts on their business.
British Airways, a member of BAR UK, said in a statement: “We already meet our carbon costs twice over even before these increases.
“Aviation supports more than 500,000 jobs in the UK and provides the transport links that are vital to the success of UK businesses in a globalised economy.”
Carrivick’s comments were also echoed by Colin Matthews, CEO of BAA: “While we all need to play our part in recovery, we need sensible tax policy that doesn't stunt growth and damage our competitiveness.”
He said the current policy of taxing aviation, which makes the UK “much more expensive” to fly from, hurts both consumers and businesses.
“The knock on effects of this will be longstanding and bigger,” said Matthews. “More environmentally-efficient jets will not be able to fly from Heathrow if we do not have enough transfer passengers to make the flights viable.”
It is thought the increase of the tax on flying will bring in some £2.3 billion for the Treasury.
As of today (November 1), on shorter routes (less than 2000 miles from the UK), passengers pay £1 more per ticket, taking the tax each passenger pays to £12.
The tax hits longer routes harder, however.
Flights of more than 2,000 miles have seen a £15 increase in economy class, to £60 per passenger, while premium economy, business and first class passengers will be paying £120 each (£30 more).
The next bracket has seen an increase of £25 on economy tickets, to £75 per passenger, and for premium passengers it has gone up from £100 to £150.
The longest-distance routes (over 6,000 miles) have gone up by £30 to £85 per economy passenger, while premium economy, business and first class passengers will now be paying £170 (£60 more per flight).