ABTA is calling on the public to write to their MPs and sign an online Number 10 petition over Air Passenger Duty (APD).

The trade association is again claiming APD will have a dramatic effect on the cost of flying to the Caribbean, potentially putting visiting friends and family out of reach when people are already feeling the pinch financially.

Currently, passengers flying economy to the Caribbean pay £40 APD. From November 1, this will go up to £50 and from November 1 2010 to £75,

This means a family of four will pay £200 in tax this year and £300 in 2010.

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “These APD increases will have a terrible impact on the cost of flying to see family and other loved ones, both going to and coming from the Caribbean.

“They will also discourage tourists from visiting the islands. This could have potentially devastating effects on local economies at an already difficult economic time”.

  • APD will apply in four bands from November – on flights up to 2,000 miles from London (band A), 2,000-4,000 miles (band B), 4,000-6,000 (band C) and more than 6,000 (band D).
  • Duty on short-haul economy flights will rise from £10 to £11 in November and to £12 from November 2010. It is double on premium economy and business-class tickets.
  • APD on medium- and long-haul economy flights will rise in November from £40 to £45 (band B), £50 (band C), and £55 (band D) – with non-economy double.
  • From November 2010, economy-class APD will be £60 (band B), £75 (band C) and £85 (band D), with premium economy and business-class rates at £120, £150 and £170.