The move to freeze APD this year was welcomed by Thomas Cook but it reiterated calls for what it described as a “stealth tax on flying” to be fundamentally revised.


Today chancellor George Osborne announced a planned increase in APD in November had been shelved and that the controversial banding system would be revised.


The moves suggest the government has listed to a high profile industry campaign on calling for A Fair Tax on Flying, but the proposals did not go far enough.


Manny Fontenla-Novoa, Thomas Cook chief executive, said:  “We are pleased that the chancellor has recognised the excessive burden already placed on the aviation industry by APD, and has chosen not to make any immediate increase to this tax.


“APD is a phoney tax under the pretence of being green – the Government should have had the courage to revise this stealth tax so that British people do not have to continue to face unfair taxes on their hard-earned holidays. 


“We’ve always said that APD is fundamentally unfair as it penalises those airlines who operate with the highest load factors, so for that reason we’ve always supported a move to a per plane duty. 


“It is therefore extremely disappointing they’ve not honoured their commitment to make this change which would have been fairer on the passengers and would have encouraged a more environmentally friendly approach by all airlines.


“Whilst we welcome today’s news that the Government are looking at the existing banding scheme of its APD scheme, we firmly believe that this isn’t enough.


“It is a great shame that at a time when they could – and should – be doing all they can to lessen the strain on hard working families, they are yet again making the consumer pay.”