Consultation on replacement options for Air Passenger Duty must start before the summer Parliamentary recess, ABTA has urged.
The association is keen to start detailed policy discussions with the coalition government on the exact design, structure and level of any new aviation tax.
Calling for the government to publish its consultation on replacing APD as soon as possible, head of public affairs Luke Pollard said: “While we broadly support a change to a per plane tax, which would incentivise airlines to fly more efficiently, with fuller passenger loads, the level and mechanics of the new tax concern our members and their customers greatly.
“We have seen with APD how a poorly-designed tax system that ignored the valid concerns of the industry can be damaging to our sector, and the sooner detailed policy discussions can begin the better.
“The travel industry knows that [chancellor] George Osborne wants to balance the books, but to maximise the tax take it must be set at a level where people can still afford to fly – not at a level where people are priced out of the skies.
“Tax on aviation – through Air Passenger Duty – in this country has risen disproportionately over the past five years.
“ABTA has always stated that there should be a fair tax take from aviation, and while we broadly welcome the move to a per plane duty that will incentivise airlines to fly more efficiently with full passenger loads – the level and structure of the new tax is crucially important.
“While leisure travellers are particularly price sensitive, higher aviation duty also has the potential to have a very detrimental effect on outbound and inbound tourism to the UK, not to mention those destinations which depend on tourism.”
Osborne said in his emergency budget that he would report back to Parliament in the autumn on proposals for a new per plane duty.
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