Since 2011 ABTA has played a leading role in the A Fair Tax on Flying campaign, which calls for a reduction in the UK's air departure tax, Air Passenger Duty (APD). The campaign has had a number of successes, most notably reforms to the banding system and the abolition of APD on child flights. However, our work is not over. UK Air Passenger Duty remains the highest aviation tax levied on passengers in the EU, with just six other EU countries levying a similar tax, all at substantially lower rates. From April 2017 APD will add £13pp to the cost of a short haul trip and £75pp to the cost of a long haul trip, with these rates doubling for premium economy and business travellers. The Scottish Government has recognised the uncompetitive and damaging nature of this tax and has announced plans to reduce the tax on flights leaving Scottish airports by 50%, with a view to abolishing it altogether when resources allow. Theresa May has laid out a vision for a "Global Britain". A reduction in APD would send a strong message to the world that Britain has a global outlook and is open for business. Ahead of the March Budget, the A Fair Tax on Flying campaign will be stepping up activities and calling on the Government to commit to a 50% reduction in APD to support families and businesses and ensure that Britain is “Brexit ready”. I would urge all Members, if you are not already, to get involved in the campaign activity. You can do this by following the campaign on social media and sharing content, by encouraging your customers to visit the campaign website and by contacting your local MP to highlight the damaging effects of this tax.
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive