Telegraph continues its campaign against APD


The Daily Telegraph started a campaign against Air Passenger Duty, back in mid
2009, and have been encouraging their readers to protest about it ever since.  
Now coming up to the election, they hope this will be a voting issue.

The Budget yesterday did not mention Air Passenger Duty.

However, the Telegraph have a long article about the iniquity of it all, and
the unfairness of taxing someone flying return to Australia would have to pay
an extra £85.   Or someone flying to a short haul European destination having to
pay £12 more.

Figures below for economy fares only:

What passengers will have to pay in Air Passenger Duty

Band A (0 – 2000 miles from London)

Includes: Europe, Algeria, Greenland, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia

Nov 2009       £11

Nov 2010     £12




November 2009



November 2010



Band B (2001-4000 miles)

Includes: Bermuda, Canada, Egypt, Gambia, Jordan, Oman, Russia (east of Urals),
Syria, UAE, US

Nov 2009       £45

Nov 2010   £60


Band C (4001-6000 miles)

Includes: Botswana, Brazil, Caribbean, China, India, Japan, Kenya, Maldives,
Mauritius, Mexico, Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand

Nov 2009       £50

Nov 2010       £75


Band D (more than 6000 miles)

Includes: Argentina, Australia, Chile, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore

Nov 2009     £55

Nov 2010   £85





A long article in today’s Telegraph bemoans the perceived injustice of having
to pay to pollute.

Budget 2010: Air Passenger Duty and the rising cost of flying for British families

  Some paragraphs below, as a flavour of it:


….It is not just those wishing to visit distant relatives who are affected;
the tax increases strike at the heart of what many Britons work for 48 weeks of
the year: a week or two in the sun. Those sun-kissed beaches on screensavers across
the country are fast becoming a pipe dream.


…. At Westminster, MPs and peers have regularly used phrases such as “modest
amount of a few pounds”, “we are only talking about £10”, “relatively small amount
of money” in relation to APD. These are the same parliamentarians whose expense
claims include receipts for 29p bags of Hula Hoops crisps and 99p ice creams.


…. Politicians also forget that APD comes on top of a succession of extra charges
imposed on flights by airlines, airports and foreign security authorities. According
to Trailfinders, a specialist in tailor-made travel, taxes and charges on flights
to Florida have increased since 2006 from £92 to £215, and on flights to Bangkok
from £80 to £203.

The most iniquitous feature of APD, however, is not that Britain has the highest
levels of aviation tax in Europe, or the Caribbean is being unduly punished, or
even that those who opt for premium economy are charged as much as those who pay
£3,000-plus to turn left when they board a plane. It is that those who travel
on private jets – perhaps the least environmentally sound form of transport there
is – don’t pay at all.


…. The Airport Operating Authority, which represents 72 airport companies in
the UK, estimates that the tax has already cost the economy some £758 million
this year. Last year, Holland followed Belgium in abandoning its equivalent of
APD. The tax had brought in more than €300 million ( £270m) in a year, but the
wider cost to the economy – owing to the increased cost of travelling to Holland
– was estimated at more than €1.2 billion.


….This month, after criticising Labour’s conveyer belt of junior ministers,
David Cameron promised that if he became prime minister he would appoint a dedicated
tourism minister.


…. With the gap between the two main parties narrowing by the week, could travel
really become an election issue? Mark Tanzer, chief executive of Abta, which released
an election wish list earlier this month, certainly thinks so. “Whichever party
wins the election it will have to decide on ATOL reform [whether the scheme should
include flights and other services that are not booked as part of a package],
airport expansion, and changes to the tax regime affecting aviation as well as
addressing climate change and continuing the recovery,” he said.

According to research conducted by TUI during the height of the economic downturn,
nine in 10 Britons felt that their annual holiday was still a necessity rather
than a luxury. In the run-up to the election, your local MP might do well to remember




The Telegraph’s  Air Passenger Duty campaign   is at: The Daily Telegraph petition to stop the tax on travel

There are various stories from the Telegraph about APD   – some of which are:

  • APD rise could threaten premium economy cabins 

  • Recession and APD forces airlines to cancel routes 

  • Passenger tax will be a disaster for the Caribbean 

  • APD rise could be ‘catastrophic’ for travel industry 

  • How changes in APD will affect British travellers 



    See also

    to give the side of the story:

    £10 billion a year tax bonus for airlines revealed on eve on increase in Air
    Passenger Duty

    30.10.2009   (AirportWatch members’ press release)

    On the eve of the increase in Air Passenger Duty (1), fiercely contested by the
    aviation industry (2), AirportWatch, the coalition of campaign organisations opposed
    to the Government’s airport expansion plans, has released the latest Treasury
    figures which show that, even with the increase, aviation continues to receive significant tax-breaks.

    The Treasury figures reveal that the notional benefit that aviation receives
    by paying no fuel tax and no VAT is up to £10 billion a year (3).

    By contrast Air Passenger Duty this year (2009-10) is expected to raise £1.8 billion (4).

    Economist Brendon Sewill, who advises AirportWatch on fiscal matters, said:  
    ‘The fiscal inequity argument is sound even if you are a climate change sceptic.  
    It is well known that international agreement would be necessary for any increase
    in aviation fuel tax or to impose VAT, but the £10 billion figure shows that airlines
    should stop whinging about air passenger duty.’

    John Stewart, Chairman of AirportWatch commented: "Far from being over-taxed the aviation industry is still heavily subsidised.  
    This distorts the demand for air travel.   It also means that all the Department
    for Transport’s calculations of the economic benefit of new runways at Heathrow,
    Stansted and Gatwick are unreliable.   Take away the subsidy and the new runways
    would all make a loss

    Sewill added: "This tax benefit for air travel, by giving artificial encouragement
    to people to fly abroad, also increases the tourist deficit – which has been estimated
    to mean the loss of around 900,000 UK jobs as people spend their money abroad
    instead of in this country (5).

    In the long run, AirportWatch suggests, the solution must be a world-wide agreement that aviation should pay its full share of public
    .   As Stewart commented: ‘That would be a good simple decision to come out of Copenhagen."

    (4)     2009 Budget statement.   APD is forecast to raise £2.2 billion in 2010-11,  
    rising to £3.3 billion in 2013-14.     The £10 billion figure is also likely to rise, as a result of increased fuel
    duty and rising economic activity.


    and more information at