We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Mon 1 Jan 2007 04:00 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

UK flight prices to rocket under APD rule

Travel agents booking their clients on UK flights due to depart after February 1 should warn them that prices will rocket under plans to double air passenger duty (APD).

UK flight prices to rocket under APD rule
BA said the APD rise was “regrettable” and would have no environmental impact.

Travel agents booking their clients on UK flights due to depart after February 1 should warn them that prices will rocket under plans to double air passenger duty (APD).

The UK Government has announced that every time economy passengers leave a British airport, they will pay £10 (US $20) APD instead of £5 ($10) for short-haul flights and £40 ($79) instead of £20 ($39) for long-haul journeys.

Business class passengers, who already pay twice as much APD as economy travellers, will be further penalised; £40 ($79) for short-haul, and £80 ($158) for long-haul flights.

UK Chancellor Gordon Brown has claimed the increases mark the first step in addressing the environmental cost of air travel, but airlines, particularly UK flag carrier, British Airways, said the rate rise was “regrettable” and would “generate no environmental impact”.

“We are in urgent discussions with the Treasury about the exact mechanics of the Chancellor’s announcement and what it means for our customers in terms of tickets already purchased,” said a British Airways spokesman.

The ‘polluter pays’ policy will impact all passengers flying from the UK to the Middle East, regardless of the airline on which they travel.

“I suggest people book and travel to the UK before February 1,” said Stephanie Price-Whittle, marketing communications manager, UAE, Virgin Atlantic, which operates a daily flight from London to Dubai.

On a more serious note, she added: “History has shown that since the APD was introduced, the number of passengers flying has increased sharply. Virgin Atlantic believes higher taxes are not the answer to tackling global warming, as travellers will always want to fly to see friends and relatives or meet business contacts.Increasing APD does not incentivise the aviation industry to find solutions for the cleaner engines of the future.

Instead, there needs to be a greater focus on cutting emissions at source, through a combination of measures such as towing aircraft towards runways instead of taxiing on engines, greater efficiencies within European air traffic control systems, and the creation of a European emissions trading scheme.”

Those most likely to lose out when APD doubles are budget airline passengers, as the bulk of the fare price will be attributed to taxes.

“easyJet takes the issue of aviation and the environment very seriously and we are already making huge efforts to ensure we are as environmentally- efficient as is possible, but APD is the wrong tax for the economy and the wrong tax for the environment. It penalises all airlines and aircraft equally, when clearly some airlines are much more environmentally efficient than others,” said Andy Harrison, chief executive, easyJet.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.