Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled his fall budget earlier this week and introduced new passenger airfare (APD).
APD will decrease for domestic flights and increase for long-haul flights, and a new tax band has been created for long-haul flights.
Here’s the truth …
The new fares mean that the APD will be lowered for domestic flights and increased for long-haul flights, and a new tax bracket has been created for ultra-long-haul flights.
Ok so air passenger duty is changing, what is that?
Air passenger tax is the tax levied by airlines for each passenger carried on flights from UK airports. Airlines generally pass this charge on to customers. Therefore, it is an “invisible” tax in terms of advertised airfares.
So is it safe to assume it’s going up?
Not for all flights. For domestic travel, the tax has been halved to £ 6.50 per flight. Since this charge is both ways, the cost of a return trip to the UK will be reduced by £ 13, assuming the airlines pass on the savings.
When will it come into effect?
Since April 2023, still a while.
What about flights abroad?
It depends on how far you travel. For flights of less than 2,000 miles, the fare will remain the same. This will cover all EU countries, as well as countries like Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco. A full list can be found under ‘Rates for Air Passenger Service’ at gov.uk.
An easyJet flight from London to Glasgow is estimated to drop from £ 26 to £ 19.50 from April 2023
Are you climbing for longer trips?
Yes. The APD for trips over 2,000 miles, but less than 5,500 miles, is increasing from £ 82 to £ 87.
What about flights over 5,500 miles?
The amount will increase from £ 82 to £ 91.
Is this for all flight classes?
No. The amounts mentioned above are for low rates. Business Class APD on domestic flights will be cut in half, from £ 26 per trip to £ 13.
Meanwhile, the business class APD on flights from 2,000 to 5,500 miles will increase from £ 180 to £ 191, and on flights over 5,500 miles from £ 180 to £ 200.
What counts as business class?
Any seat that has a step (legroom) of more than 40 inches.
Do you have to pay APD on the return leg?
No. APD is only for flights outside the UK. For flights in, passengers are subject to taxes charged by foreign countries.
New APD fares mean that a long-haul flight from London to Bangkok with Thai Airways would increase from £ 401 to £ 410
What will the likely reaction of the airlines be?
They are likely to convey changes. But most have expressed frustration at rising long-distance rates, which they say are already among the highest in the world. Luis Gallego, head of IAG, which owns British Airways, said the changes “penalize global Britain.”
However, industry trade body Airlines UK is pleased with the drop in the national APD, which it believes will help people get around more easily.
Does the green lobby have something to say?
Yes. Is not happy. With the United Nations Conference on Climate Change COP26 starting tomorrow, environmentalists believe the announcement sends the wrong message. Friends of the Earth said: ‘[It] flies in the face of the climate emergency. The Chancellor should make it cheaper for people to travel by train, not carbon-intensive planes.
Could anything else affect the rates?
Much. Airports are requesting permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to increase passenger fares to recoup losses caused by the pandemic. They are expected to rise from £ 19.60 to £ 30 on January 1 at Heathrow. Then there are concerns about rising oil prices.
Is the cash raised by APD spent on ecological causes?
No. It’s just another way for the Chancellor to raise taxes.