The Government today has implemented its 2009 budget proposal to increase Air Passenger Duty wherein departure taxes on long-haul flights will escalate by an overwhelming 112% during the November 2009-November 2010 financial year.
ADP will be determined by the distance passengers fly. For instance, the current ADP to the Caribbean is £40 but next winter, a family of four would pay £300 to the destination. The same applies to passengers to Australia wherein passengers will pay £340, up from £40.
Medium and long-haul flights will greatly be affected but flights under 2000 miles will escalate by a mere £2. conversely, a flight to Egypt which lies slightly beyond the 2000 mile maximum will mean that a family of four in an economy flight will pay £240 in APD instead of £160.
The move has been met with criticism from travel operators, citing there are declining passenger numbers due to the looming financial crisis. Telegraph Travel last week reported that there is a dull future for regional airlines because of the dwindling number of passengers in the past year.
The government argues the move will reduce environmental pollution by cutting down carbon emissions but pundits criticize the move. They say the taxes will blind passengers to believe they are playing their role for the environment
Willie Walsh, the C.E.O for British Airways says that British airlines are the most taxed as ADP was doubled just two years ago. He further says that government figures indicate the airlines are already meeting their environmental costs hence no justification for the extra taxation.
According to a regional Travel association Abta, ADP will double tax to local passengers who will be forced to travel through London, especially if they will travel with different airlines. Britain tourism is also likely to be affected wherein foreign tourists will be forced to pay APD on their return flight.