Top UK carriers demand APD freeze Four of Britain’s largest

Hotel News - 12/03/2012

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Head officials from Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair, EasyJet and International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent firm of flag-carrier British Airways, said in a rare-joint satement today that the government must suspend forthcoming rises of the UK’s air passenger duty tax and launch an investigation into its effects on the local economy.

APD fees are levied on all passengers flying from UK airports; airlines continue to claim the practice is detrimental to the country’s tourism, aviation and hospitality industries and national workforce. The group said in Monday's statement that an independent enquiry on the matter would provide evidence for this claim and would show that revenue and benefits from the APD tax are far outweighed by taxes lost through constrained economic growth.

The tax has risen sharply over the past several years and is due for an additional 8 per cent rise on 1 April; airlines said in a press release that with the latest increase a family of four will pay over £500 in departure taxes for a trip from the UK to Australia.

The plea comes just ahead of the delivery of the annual budget by chancellor George Osborn on 21 March.

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