On Monday, ‘A Fair Tax on Flying' launched its latest campaign calling for at least a 50% reduction of Air Passenger Duty (APD) across the UK. As Brexit looms and the Government is keen to signal that Britain remains open for business, the focus of the campaign has shifted to highlight how our high levels of APD are hitting business travel and our ability to grow trade with overseas markets. New research shows that travellers flying from the UK for business purposes are facing an additional tax burden of over £325m compared to similar-sized economies such as Italy and France, over £275m compared to Germany and over £450m compared to the Republic of Ireland as a result of the UK’s APD rates. Compared to the EU average rate of APD, business travellers flying from the UK are being hit by an additional £400m in tax each year.
ABTA has played a leading role in the ‘A Fair Tax on Flying’ campaign since 2011, and has worked hard to help deliver significant reductions and reforms to APD. This includes the removal of the two highest bands of the tax in 2014, and the abolition of the tax on child fares, achieved in two waves across 2015/6. However, UK Air Passenger Duty remains among the highest aviation tax anywhere in the world and is the highest in the EU by a significant margin. It puts the UK economy at a severe competitive disadvantage in the very markets we need to trade with post-Brexit, when compared to the rest of Europe. A reduction in APD would send a strong message to the world that Britain has a global outlook and is open for business. It would reduce the tax burden on UK businesses seeking to maintain and expand new markets overseas, it would allow UK businesses to compete on a level playing field and it would make the UK more attractive to businesses wishing to visit and invest here.
ABTA Members are invited to support the campaign by encouraging their customers to log on to the campaign website (www.afairtaxonflying.org) where they can email their local MP, asking them to attend an event in parliament on 11 October, hosted by the ‘A Fair Tax on Flying’ campaign. Everybody who does this makes the campaign stronger and increases its chances of success.