Emirates has added its weight to a campaign calling on the UK government to slash air passenger duty (APD) – a tax imposed on air travel.
Ahead of the UK government’s Budget announcement in November, the ‘A Fair Tax on Flying’ campaign is asking for the tax to be cut by at least 50 percent.
At present, APD is added to UK journeys at a rate of £13 for economy class and £26 for other classes for flights up to 2,000 miles away. For flights over 2,000 miles away the rate is £75 and £150, respectively. There is a higher rate for super-large aircraft and private jets.
However, under current proposals, the rate for journeys of more than 2,000 miles away is set to rise to £78 for economy class and £156 – affecting Gulf airlines travelling to and from the UK who would be forced to pass the increase on to customers. It is at least 4,000 miles from the UK to Dubai.
The campaign is being led by airline trade organisation the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (Bar UK). Its CEO Dale Keller said the proposed increase threatened to harm the UK economy.
“Air Passenger Duty is a tax on trade and hits both business and leisure travellers. This puts the UK business community at a serious competitive disadvantage and hurts the UK economy,” he said.
This week, Emirates and American Airlines became the latest airlines to join the campaign.
Emirates president Tim Clark said: “UK aviation taxes are amongst the highest in the world.
“Cutting them will benefit consumers, stimulate more leisure and business travel and send a strong signal that the UK is serious about building ever stronger international air and trade links, particularly in the post-Brexit world.”
The ‘A Fair Tax On Flying Campaign’ is presenting its case to members of the UK parliament (MPs) on October 11 and encouraging the industry to help back the campaign by messaging their local MPs via its website.