The Conservative party has pledged to reform Air Passenger Duty if it wins the May 6 general election.
The promise will be welcomed by the industry, with 14,000 people having signed an Abta petition calling for a government review of APD.
However, the overall tax on flying would be unlikely to change under the Conservatives, who intend “to encourage a switch to fuller and cleaner planes” by relating the tax to emissions.
The manifesto also affirms the Tories would halt airport expansion, vowing to “stop the third runway [at Heathrow]. . . and block plans for second runways at Stansted and Gatwick.”
The Liberal Democrat manifesto also pledges to cancel “any expansion at airports in the southeast” and to replace APD with “a per-plane duty”.
However, the Lib Dems would expect the new tax to raise an extra £3 billion a year. They would also seek an additional £255 million a year through increased duty on domestic flights.
Labour’s manifesto backs Heathrow expansion but makes no mention of APD.