Concerned airline and travel bosses have clubbed together to write to Chancellor George Osborne, calling for a rethink in plans to increase Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Wednesday’s Budget.
The letter signed by International Airlines Group’s Keith Williams, American Airlines’ boss Thomas Horton and Ian Ailles, chief executive of Thomas Cook – says a proposed increase of 8 per cent would be devastating for the travel industry.
The industry group have calculated that the proposed increase would mean a family four travelling economy class to Florida, USA would pay £260 in APD by the summer, compared to just £80 in 2006.
In the letter published in the Daily Telegraph, the signatories called on the Chancellor to commission and independent study of APD’s value to the economy as a whole.
They went further and questioned whether the move went against the Treasury’s current policy of evidence-based solutions to taxation issues.
It said: “Until recognition is given to the immense value derived to the UK economy from air travel, and a more equitable tax regime is established, APD will continue to inflict economic damage to the industry and the UK economy.
The letter added that the Chancellor has increased the tax on flying to a level unparalleled anywhere else in the world.