Air Passenger Duty (APD) is the UK's tax on flights leaving UK airports and it's set to increase by 10-50% from Sunday 1 November 2009. This is a quite unwelcome event for the travel industry as travel companies are already reeling from the recession and lower passenger numbers.
This increase is only the first phase of two, however, as APD will increase again next November, when the cost for travelers will become quite noticeable.
From Sunday, the new taxes are:
- Flights over 6,000 miles: £60, up from £40. This would cover flights, for example, from London to Tokyo
- Flights up to 6,000 miles: £50, up from £40. Flights would include London to India or Los Angeles
- Flights up to 4,000 miles: £45, up from £40. This covers flights from London to New York City or Kenya
- Flights within Europe: £11, up from £10. This is the lowest increase and the least controversial because of it
Most airlines have called for the APD increases to be scrapped, or preferrably lowered. This increased tax will hurt tourism when it's at its most vulnerable, and you're likely to see fewer English tourists in far-flung corners of the world as a result of it. Naturally, the increase hits those least able to afford it the most:
Families going for distant destinations like Australia will now have to pay £240 in APD alone for 4 tickets, up from £160 today. If you're planning on flying in the near future, best buy those air tickets before Sunday.
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