Chancellor expected to hike APD on long-haul flights

Travellers to long-haul destinations look likely to pay more Air Passenger Duty on their flights, as the chancellor is expected to revamp the levy in Wednesday’s Budget (October 27).

The Guardian reported that Rishi Sunak is preparing “to overhaul” APD “to reflect the environmental damage wrought by long-haul flights” and to “burnish his green credentials”.

Currently charged in two bands, to destinations under 2,000 miles and above 2,000 miles, with business class passengers paying more.

In a consultation document published alongside the March budget, the treasury issued several options for reforming APD.

MoreAPD on domestic flights ‘could be halved’ to boost regional connectivity

Comment: Turn APD into a recovery fund, Prime Minister

Its favoured approach was a new, three-band structure, with destinations more than 6,000 miles away facing the highest charge.

The Guardian also reported there is expected to be a new, lower rate for domestic flights. “Such a move is likely to be sold as encouraging levelling up and protecting the Union by fostering connectivity between the nations and regions – though it could be controversial where there are viable public transport alternatives such as train routes,” said the newspaper.

It added: “The government is keen to demonstrate that it has a coherent plan for hitting its decarbonisation targets, ahead of the critical Cop26 meeting opening next week in Glasgow.”

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, commented on Twitter about the hike for long-haul flights, saying: “Will this raise stop Rishi flying to his Santa Monica second home? Of course not. It’s pocket change to him.

“But it will price the less well off out of holidays completely. That’s not fair. Fair is a frequent flier tax. People who fly most should pay most.”

Picture by ImYanis/Shutterstock

More: APD on domestic flights ‘could be halved’ to boost regional connectivity

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