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Thu 16 Jul 2009 12:25 PM

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Virgin blasts air fare tax hike

Virgin passengers may have to pay higher air fare taxes under UK increase plan.

Virgin blasts air fare tax hike
TAX INCREASE: Virgin passengers may have to pay higher air fare taxes under UK increase plan.

Virgin Atlantic passengers flying between London and Dubai may be forced to pay higher air fare taxes if the UK government introduces a general increase for all carriers.

On Thursday, Virgin president Sir Richard Branson said plans to increase air passenger duty (APD) by 113 percent in November for people leaving the UK would hit the industry hard.

The APD for travel to Dubai from London Heathrow will increase from GBP40 to GBP60 ($65 to $98.2) if the government hikes the taxes, the airline said. “Air Passenger Duty is one of the most unjust taxes out there. The UK government has been quietly increasing APD by huge amounts and claiming it is an environmental tax. Yet, there's not a shred of evidence to suggest the GBP2billion plus currently raised is going towards environmental or sustainable projects,” Branson said.

“Now the UK government wants to again hike the ridiculously high tax on your holiday or business trip - in November this year and next - by up to 113%. I am urging passengers to write to their local MP on why the planned increases are out of control.

“The increases will hurt passengers, the airline industry and developing regions such as the Caribbean and Africa which rely on the airline industry to power their economies, and enable family and friends based in the UK to visit loved ones.”

All Virgin e-tickets will now carry messages criticising the UK government for the planned tax hike. The text will also urge passengers to lobby local MPs and visit www.virginatlantic.com/unjusttax to protest against the charges.

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The Don 11 years ago

Strange I can't see bloggers posting comments bashing UK like what would they do if the decision is made by Government of Dubai?

Jon 11 years ago

The Don - probably because the UK Government is up front and honest about it rather than calling it a "charge" which is hidden away on your electricity bill - or something like that. I suppose the big difference is, there is a transparent lobbying process where people can actively petition the on Government on policy in the UK. Still, I'm sure the UK population can tell the Arabian residents in London that "if you don't like it, you can always leave". Horses for courses my friend!

The Don 11 years ago

No comment, except I agree with you (if you don't like it, you can always leave).

bailiff 11 years ago

The UK government needs this tax, we dont have oil you know (oh sorry, yes we do). Excellent Jon, if they don't like it then don't come to the UK !! In answer to The Don, if the Government of Dubai made such a decision we would probably complain, and we would be told if we don't like it we can always go home. Sauce for the goose...