Businesses are being urged to add their weight to an industry campaign to highlight opposition to Air Passenger Duty.

The A Fair Tax on Flying lobby group is calling on companies to sign an online petition pointing out to policy-makers the economic damage of APD.

The petition on displays a real-time map of where support from the UK is coming from.

Campaigners are also asking supporters to add their names to a letter to their local MP and Chancellor George Osborne, which is to be sent later in the summer.

The latest push follows 16 chambers of commerce adding their support to the campaign following the APD rises in this year’s Budget.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “Last year our campaign was all about demonstrating to MPs just how many of their constituents were being affected by APD.

“But APD doesn’t just affect consumers, it’s also having a major impact on businesses – both those who work directly within aviation and tourism and those for whom international travel is crucial to expansion and growth.”

Guild of Travel Management Companies chief executive Paul Wait added: “As the voice of the business traveller the GTMC is wholly supportive of A Fair Tax on Flying. Our members are all too aware of how much of a burden APD is to those companies travelling to ‘do the deals’ that stimulate jobs and growth in the UK.

“It is vital that the perspective of business is heard in Westminster and that government charts a course that removes self-imposed barriers to trade.”

Airport Operators Association chief executive Darren Caplan said: “Year-on-year rises in APD are fundamentally damaging the UK’s competitiveness with our European counterparts – 21 out of 27 EU countries pay no APD at all. It’s now time for UK businesses to stand up and be counted, as our eye-wateringly high levels of APD already mean UK businesses pay the highest passenger tax on flying in the world – and this is not disputed by anyone in government.”

Board of Airline Representatives in the UK chief executive Dale Keller, said: “This petition is a vital means for UK and overseas businesses to let the UK Government know their opposition to this excessive tax.

“All the evidence is there that APD sucks more money out of the economy than it generates and we have now passed the tipping point where lasting damage to the UK’s aviation sector is now a certainty.”