British Members of Parliament Call for Reduction in U.K. Air Departure Tax

By Paul Riegler on 24 February 2020
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Check-in counters at Terminal 2 at Heathrow

A number of lawmakers in the United Kingdom are calling for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to reduce the country’s air departure tax.

Forty-two members of Parliament, including 27 Tories and three peers, wrote to Mr. Sunak urging him “to take decisive action to cut the APD by at least 50%.”

The Air Departure Duty is calculated using a banding system that is based on the distance from London to the destination country’s capital city.  When that distance is no greater than 2,000 miles (3,219 kilometers), known as “Band A,” the cost is £13 ($16.80) for those traveling in coach or cabins where the seat pitch is 40” or less, and is £26 for those in any class of travel where the seat pitch is over 40”.

Band B travel, which is for flights to destinations where the capital city is over 2,000 miles from London, costs £78 when traveling in cabins where the seat pitch is 40” or less and £172 for those traveling in cabins where the seat pitch is over 40”.

Travelers who are transiting the U.K. are exempt from the tax.

The relatively high tax, which was introduced in 2006 and cost £5 per person for short-haul flights and £10 for longer ones, is unpopular with travelers and airlines alike.  It was increased in 2014 and, in 2015, then Chancellor George Osborne promised to lower the cost for the longest flights covered by the APD.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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