Treasury plans to hit holidaymakers with higher taxes for longest flights

Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent
·1-min read

People embarking on holidays to far-flung destinations will be hit by higher taxes under Government plans.

The Treasury is proposing to increase Air Passenger Duty (APD) for flights to locations such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Thailand.

Passengers flying from the UK to destinations beyond 2,000 miles are already hit with an £80 APD fee.

The planned overhaul involves increasing the number of distance bands, meaning higher charges for longer flights.

This policy would “reinforce the polluter pays principle” by ensuring passengers who “have the greatest impact on the environment incur the most APD,” according to a consultation document.

The Treasury also proposes to reduce APD on domestic flights, which currently adds £26 to the cost of return travel in standard class.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that plan earlier this month as part of measures to improve connectivity within the UK.

Regional airline Flybe, which collapsed in March 2020, blamed APD for contributing to its financial struggles.

Environmental groups have long called for the UK to introduce a “frequent flyer levy” in a bid to reduce demand for flights.

But the consultation document stated that the Government is opposed to this as it would be “significantly more complex to administer” than APD, due to the requirement to identify and record every flight taken by an individual from a UK airport.