Virgin Atlantic has added its opposition to Monday’s hike in Air Passenger Duty, warning that the revised tax will put annual family holidays out of reach for many.
The airline’s chief commercial officer Julie Southern said: “Holidays are an essential part of our lives and are valued even more in these difficult economic times.
“With passengers now being asked to pay up to 10 times more tax since APD’s introduction, the annual family holiday will become unaffordable for many.
“Our message to government is that this absolutely has to be the last time that the travelling public faces APD rises.”
Bob Atkinson, of travelsupermarket.com, said: “The tax bands aren’t consistent. APD is a flat tax and is therefore regressive. The tax should apply to the actual mileage or as a percentage of the total paid.
“There needs to be a complete revamp of the APD scheme. It should be replaced by a per plane tax so that we can then see the environmental efficiency of each airline and their aircraft.”
A family of four flying in economy to Australia will now pay £340 taxes in total – an extra £120. They will pay 33% more APD to fly to the US – an extra £60 to £240. Premium economy passengers pay double.
British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh has called the tax a “disgrace” and Abta continues to lobby ministers in protest at the APD rises.
The cost of APD for flights of less than 2,000 miles in economy class will remain at £11 with duty on premium tickets frozen at £22. For journeys of between 2,001 and 4,000 miles the price will be £60 in economy class and £120 for other seats.
For journeys of between 4,001 and 6,000 miles, the tax is £75 in economy and £150 in premium classes. Flights of more than 6,000 miles will cost £85 and £170 respectively.
But the mileage bands act as rough guide. For example, all trips to the US fall within one band, while those to the Caribbean are charged at a higher rate.
It means that people flying eight hours to Barbados will pay £15 more tax – £30 for those in premium seats – than those travelling four hours further to Los Angeles.
Tax rise increases per miles:
• Band A (0-2,000 miles) – up 9%
• Band B (2,001-4,000 miles) – up 33%
• Band C (4,001-6000 miles) – up 50%
• Band D (more than 6,000) – up 55%
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