Government changes APD banding system for passengers departing UK airports
The banding system used to calculate Air Passenger Duty (APD) has been simplified by the government for travellers departing from UK airports. The two bands have now been changed to just one band where air passengers flying to any country more than 2,000 miles from London, such as the Caribbean or Florida, will now be taxed the same amount.
Travellers departing from UK airports will now just pay one tax amount when travelling to any country whose capital is more than 2,000 miles from London.
The government recently made the changes to the banding system used to calculate Air Passenger Duty (APD) to make is simpler for UK travellers heading to destinations such as the Caribbean or Florida.
Prior to the recent changes, a family of four travelling to Florida in economy class paid £240 in APD, but the same family travelling to the Caribbean paid £300, even though Florida is further away from the UK than many countries in the Caribbean region.
The changes will particularly benefit passengers travelling more than 4,000 miles. Passengers flying to the Caribbean will now pay £71 per person, rather than £85, with a family of four saving £56 in total.
APD for children aged under 12 will be scrapped from 1st May, 2015 and in 2016, it will be abolished for all children under 16.
Tour operators and airlines have welcomed the changes after campaigning for APD reductions since 2010 but many companies such as British Airways are still pushing for APD to be scrapped entirely, after the Scottish government was recently given power over APD north of the border.
Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of British Airways’ parent company IAG, said;
"The Prime Minister’s words speak volumes. He has finally conceded that APD damages growth and stifles job creation,”
“If APD is on the way out in Scotland, it needs to be scrapped UK wide."
Over the years, APD in the UK has risen at an alarming rate and British travellers pay some of the highest airport taxes in the world.
The gradual rise in APD has affected tourism in many countries and tourism-dependent regions such as the Caribbean heavily rely on the income generated from travellers visiting the islands.
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