APD to rise on long-haul only (>2,000 miles) from £80 to £82 from April 2021 – no change in short haul £13 APD

Air Passenger Duty (APD) –  the UK duty on flights – is set to increase for flights of over 2,000 miles, in April 2021.  The APD will rise from £80 now to £82, for a return flight – APD is only charged on departures.  For premium class air tickets of over 2,000 miles, the APD will rise by £4 from £176 to £180.  There will be no increase in APD for flights under 2,000 miles, which means any flight in Europe, which will continue to pay just £13 for a return trip (£26 premium class).  The rate for long-haul private jet etc rises from £528 to £541. (The distance is measured from London to the capital city of the destination country.)  This tiny APD rise is not doing to deter anyone flying.  The increase come  despite calls from the aviation industry to freeze or even scrap APD due to the problems the sector has because of the Covid pandemic.  There have been many calls for APD on domestic return flights to be scrapped, (as the APD is £26, not the £13 for a European flight) but there is no mention of those in the government announcement.  Perhaps the government appreciates that airlines take money out of the UK, and passengers to foreign leisure trips, o a far greater extent than they bring money in.

See Treasury website



Duty will go up on medium and long-haul flights

Helen Coffey @LenniCoffey  (The Independent)


Air Passenger Duty, the UK duty on flights, is set to increase in 2021, despite calls from the struggling aviation industry to freeze or even scrap the tax amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has announced that Air Passenger Duty (APD) will rise for economy and premium carriage on medium and long-haul flights from April next year.

The duty on economy fares will go up by 2.5%  from £80 to £82, while the tax on premium seats is to jump by 2.3% from £176 to £180.

However, APD will remain unchanged for both classes on short-haul services, priced at £13 and £26 per passenger respectively.

Prior to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s decision to further hike APD, industry figures had been calling for the government to give airlines a “holiday” from the tax in order to stimulate growth.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of travel association Abta, said: “We believe the Chancellor should consider an APD cut ahead of next summer to incentivise people to book their holidays in 2021.”

Meanwhile, Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, the trade body for UK-registered airlines, said: “The Government should bring forward a targeted package of support measures [including] a 12-month APD waiver to ensure our industry can play a vital role in the economic recovery.”

Last month the UK’s oldest travel trade title, Travel Trade Gazette (TTG), launched the #SaveTravel campaign, backed by almost 2,000 people in the industry who signed a letter to transport secretary Grant Shapps and Rishi Sunak demanding urgent financial support for the sector.

Demands included a pause on APD until the end of August 2021, which the campaign said would help with pricing and encourage consumers to start booking holidays again.

“The travel sector is all too aware of the pressures and complexities of the crisis facing this country, and wants to do all it can to help protect British citizens,” said editor of TTG, Sophie Griffiths. “But right now an entire sector is facing a catastrophic future, unless urgent help is provided.”



APD had been expected to raise about £4 billion for the Treasury in 2020-21. This will clearly not be happening this year, due to Covid.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/752201/Budget_2018_print.pdf   P 101