BA Cuts Caribbean Flights Due to High APD Taxes
British Airways has announced that it will be reducing its number of flights for Caribbean holidays due to the UK's high Air Passenger Duty. The airline has urged the government to scrap the APD as it jeopardises routes to the Caribbean and tourism.
Britain’s national airline, British Airways has announced that it will be cutting the number of flights it offers to the Caribbean due to the exorbitant Air Passenger Duty tax.
Travellers taking Caribbean holidays will now have fewer flights to choose from as a result of the high tax and the airline is urging the government to scrap APD altogether.
At present, a family of four travelling to Florida in economy class will pay £240 in APD, but the same family taking Caribbean holidays will pay £300.
The rates are twice what a family from Germany would pay, and a family taking their holidays to the Caribbean from France would pay just £15. The airline pointed out that there are 22 EU countries that do not pay any aviation tax.
APD is charged according to how far away the capital of a country is from the United Kingdom. Despite Florida and Hawaii being located further from the UK, the country’s capital New York is closer than many Caribbean capital cities, so passengers travelling to the United States are charged less.
British Airways announced that they would be increasing the number of flights to Florida which has a tax rate 20 per cent lower than the Caribbean islands.
CEO of British Airways, Keith Williams told attendees of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s (CTO) annual conference in St Martin recently that the high tax was “jeopardising routes to the Caribbean”.
He said: “The Caribbean is a very important destination for us and we have a long and proud heritage of serving the region.
‘However, we can’t deny the reality that demand is not as high as it has been.
‘Taxation is most certainly a factor in this and sadly, a factor in our decision to reduce our frequency to the Caribbean next summer.
“It is no coincidence that our reduction in the number of services to the Caribbean is accompanied by a rise in services to Florida – another desirable holiday destination for UK sun-seekers, and a destination that is taxed at a rate 20 per cent less than the Caribbean.”
British Airways will decrease its flights from Gatwick to Barbados from 10 weekly flights to seven weekly flights, and it will be cancelling its twice-weekly service from Gatwick to Montego Bay in Jamaica.
The reduced flights are likely to be a blow to the Caribbean tourism industry as the region recovers from the global recession. Caribbean hotels and resorts and local businesses heavily rely on travellers from the UK and the rest of the Europe to sustain their tourism-led economy.
Earlier this year, the UK Finance Minister, George Osborne, announced that APD would be frozen for 12 months. The tax levels are currently being reviewed by the Government and the findings will be announced at the end of November.
Mr Williams added: “We continue to protest against the rises in APD and I hope that the Government’s recent consultation will lead to a more equitable banding system that does not unfairly penalise the Caribbean.”
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00 GMT
Popular Holidays Browse all
Spend wonderful days exploring India's most iconic landmarks, diving deep into a world of wonder with a wealth of spectacular sights to discover
- Visit Jaipur's Hawa Mahal, an icon of Rajashtani architecture and the ethereally beautiful Taj mahal of Agra
- Perfect tour to introduce you to India, Home to the cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, the golden triangle is an area of extraordinary cultural wealth and splendour.
- Experience the street life of Delhi, Delhi is a city like no other, with teeming bazaars and the Great Mosque in Old Delhi
Stay at the luxurious Dreams resort with various benefits
- Enjoy moonlit themed parties, great music shows and outdoor cinema screenings on the beach
- A wide choice of a la carte themed restaurants and chic bars ensure there is something to suit everyone
- The Explorer's Kids Club has a fully supervised children's programme with various different activities
Use up to $2000 resort credit to indulge in spa treatments, golf sessions or a selection of excursions that will make your Cancun holiday truly unforgettable.
- Duran Duran in concert at Moon Palace on 29th December (tickets additional cost)
- Winner of the Trip Advisor 2015 Travellers Choice Award
- Enjoy the impressive $2000 Resort Credit per booking that you can spend on golf, spa treatments, dolphin swims, visit to Chichen Itza, Express Tour of Tulum, Family fun days out at the Wet 'N' Wild Waterpark and much more
- Whether you are looking for an active holiday or a relaxing break, Moon Palace Resort is an ideal destination for travellers of all ages
Do the castaway experience in style and live your Robinson Crusoe dream
- Lose yourself in over 3 km of pristine beaches and aquamarine lagoons
- Beautiful bungalows nestled in the tropical gardens or on the beach, right over the lagoon
- Sample mouth-watering delights at a wide selection of dining options from flavours of the Orient to Mediterranean delights
Combine exploring the old dimes of Havana with a refreshing beach retreat in Vardero on an unforgettable twin centre...
Start your holiday at The Melia Habana Hotel, located in the heart of the elegant Miramar district, overlooking the sea....
Take a holiday to the Caribbean resort of Cancun in Mexico. In the magnificent Moon Palace Cancun you will be perfectly...
Situated just minutes from the Bugibba promenade, Sunflower hotel enjoys an excellent location in the popular area of...
A warm welcome awaits you behind the striking geometric façade of Holiday Inn Express Dubai-Jumeirah, 20 minutes by taxi...
Experience luxurious accommodations, modern business and leisure amenities and an ideal location in the heart of Abu...