Air Passenger Duty
16 March 2016
Air Passenger Duty (APD) was introduced in 1994 with a £5 rate for the UK/EU and £10 elsewhere.
Since then, it’s seen several increases and a doubling for passengers travelling other than in economy class (Reduced Rate = economy class; Standard Rate = premium class).
Four geographical bands were introduced in 2009 based on the distance from London to the capital city of the country concerned (with the exception of the Russian Federation which is split east and west of the Urals). Bands C and D were abolished in April 2015, with those destinations subsequently charged at band B rates.
The Government devolved APD on direct long-haul flights from Northern Ireland (those where the first part of the journey is to a destination outside Band A) to the NI Executive and, effective 1 January 2013, these were set at £0.
On 22 January 2015, as part of the Scotland Bill, the devolution of APD to Scotland was announced. The Scottish Government has since committed to reducing APD by 50% over the term of the next Scottish Parliament between 2018 and 2021, and to abolishing it completely when public finances allow.
On 27 February 2015, under the St David’s Day Agreement, the Government announced that it is considering the case and options for devolving APD to the Welsh Assembly.
APD on economy flights for children under 12 was abolished from 1 May 2015. APD for under 16s was abolished from 1 March 2016.
APD rates increased in line with inflation on 1 April 2016 and the RPI uprating will continue in 2017. The future rates are shown alongside the current ones:
|Bands (approximate distance in miles for the UK)||Reduced rate||Standard rate|
|Rate from 1 April 2016||Rate from 1 April 2017||Rate from 1 April 2016||Rate from 1 April 2017|
|Band A (0-2000 miles)||£13||£13||£26||£26|
|Band B (over 2000 miles)||£73||£75||£146||£150|
The tables specifying which countries and territories fall into each of the APD bands can be found on the HM Revenue & Customs website (Appendix 1).
Per the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts, APD is expected to provide £3.1bn receipts in 2015-16, rising to £3.7bn by 2019-20.