UK to Increase Air Departure Tax in April
The British government announced plans Friday to increase its air departure tax effective April 1. Known as the Air Passenger Duty, the cost will increase for medium- and long-haul flights.
The tax, which is added onto the cost of a ticket, will go from £67 to £69 for a traveler flying in economy class from the U.K. to Canada or the U.S., for example, almost $113 at Friday’s exchange rate. A traveler flying in business or first class will see a £4 increase to £138, or almost $226.
Someone flying from the U.K. to the Caribbean will pay £85 or £170, depending on class of service.
Flyers who are transiting the U.K. are exempt from the tax. The increase is the sixth in six years.
The relatively high tax, which was introduced and cost £5 per person for short-haul flights and £10 for longer ones, is unpopular with travelers and airlines alike.
“APD increases are making the U.K. economy increasingly uncompetitive,” said British Airways CEO Keith Williams and Heathrow Airport Holdings CEO Colin Matthews in a joint statement. “We are bitterly disappointed with the government’s decision to keep increasing the tax, which acts as a barrier to attracting investment and foreign visitors who must pay the tax on their return flight.”
Meanwhile, Ireland will stop collecting its air departure tax, which is currently 3 euros (about $4), on April 1.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)