UK Air Passenger Duty – tax system from UK airports is being changed
In April 2009 Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling announced in the 2009 Budget that the plans to revise Air Passenger Duty, a tax paid on departure from British airports, would go ahead.
In 2007 Air Passenger Duty was doubled by the UK government, meaning air travel from the UK became the most heavily taxed in the world.
From November 2009 this APD levy system on flights out of the UK will be changed, so that the charged is based on a four-tier banding system. Bands are based on the distance between London and the destination country’s capital city and the British government plans to place the Caribbean in a more expensive tax category than the whole of the USA.
Flight tax to the Caribbean will rise by 94 per cent
As a result, flight tax to the Caribbean will increase by between 25 per cent and 87 per cent, depending upon the class of travel. In November 2010 those increases will reach as high as 94 per cent.
This discriminatory system means that flights to Hawaii or California will be less heavily taxed than flights to the Caribbean destinations, even though APD is intended as a “green tax”.
UK holidaymakers and the overseas friends and relatives of Caribbean nationals who live in Britain are being heavily penalised. It would be more reasonable to place the Caribbean in the same band as the USA.
What does this mean to you?
- In November, flights to the Caribbean will have £50 per person APD in economy class or £100 per person in all other classes
- Next year, flights to the Caribbean will have £75 per person APD in economy class or £150 per person in all other classes
- A family of four travelling to the Caribbean next year in premium classes will pay £600 IN APD TAX ALONE.
- Tax on flying to the Caribbean in premium classes for a family of four will be £280 more expensive next year than it is now
- Tax on flying to the Caribbean in premium classes for a family of four will be £120 more expensive than tax on flights to Hawaii
- UK travellers transiting in London from the regions will pay two sets of APD (Band A for the domestic feeder flight plus Band C for the intercontinental flight). Flying premium classes to the Caribbean from Northern Ireland will incur £174 per person in APD in addition to the air fare
What can you do?
In letters to Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, Caribbean governments have united to call for a repeal of the UK government's discriminatory plans. The Caribbean feels that it would be fair for its destinations to be reclassified in the same band as the USA.