More than 300 businesses and leading airline executives have pledged their support for the latest campaign organised by A Fair Tax on Flying.

The group, which is lobbying against Air Passenger Duty, said today (Friday) that backing was particularly strong from businesses in the South-East and from international airlines.

The latest online petition has won the backing of a number of airline chiefs including Virgin Atlantic chief executive Craig Kreeger, American Airlines senior vice president Will Ris, United Airlines Europe managing director Conor McAuliffe, Delta Air Lines international managing director Alexander Van der Bellen, Emirates UK vice president Laurie Berryman, Lufthansa director Christian Schindler, Aegean Airlines UK manager Lily Alicabiotis and Oman Air UK manager Rohan Alce.

The petition is open to both UK and international businesses with over a dozen major non-UK businesses having added their support since the campaign launched three weeks ago.

Abta head of public affair Luke Pollard said: “With over 300 businesses signed up it’s encouraging that the campaign portal is attracting such a high level of early support.

“But we need even more support so we can demonstrate to the Treasury how damaging this tax is to UK businesses. We’d encourage as many executives as possible to visit to make their voice heard.”

British Air Transport Association chief executive Simon Buck said: “We are delighted by the support of so many businesses. We’re also encouraged by the huge levels of support we have had from airlines and airports in showing the government the negative impact this tax is having on jobs and tourism.”

Dale Keller, Chief Executive of the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK, added: “We are receiving strong support from concerned businesses struggling to expand their organisations and attract investors. Having the highest aviation taxes in the world sends completely the wrong message abroad.”