APD to rise despite Covid hit

By Bev Fearis, published 30/09/20

Air Passenger Duty is to rise next year on medium-haul and long-haul routes, despite widespread calls for a 12-month suspension of the tax.

From April 1 2021, economy travellers on medium-haul and long-haul flights will pay £82 each way, a rise of £2.

Premium class passengers – which includes Premium Economy, Business Class and First - will pay £180, an increase of £4.

APD on short-haul flights will stay the same.

The Business Travel Association had been urging the Government to suspend APD altogether for 12 months to provide an immediate stimulus for travel.

It had also argued that Premium Economy should no longer be taxed in the same band as First and Business Class.

CEO Clive Wratten said the increase was “deeply disappointing”.

“The BTA has long called for a 12-month suspension of APD to provide a vital stimulus for travel and, when the tax is restored, to ringfence 50% for investment in environmental measures such as biofuel development,” he said.

“This short-sighted approach addresses neither of these vitally important goals and shows just how much business travel’s contribution to UK GDP has been forgotten by this Government.”

Earlier this year, the aviation body AirlinesUK published a report also calling for a 12-month APD break, saying the move could potentially save 8,000 aviation jobs, hundreds of routes and contribute an additional £7 billion in GVA (gross value added).

The call for an APD waiver was also supported by ABTA and the Advantage Travel Partnership.