We’ll end up paying more for our air fares with this new system. The background to it and how it has changed since is described below: - 

Back in November 2008, in the last budget, the chancellor declared that the cost of Airline Passenger Duty (APD) would increase in November 2009 and then again in 2010.

APD is one of the charges that is currently included in the taxes you pay on a ticket and amounts to approximately £40.00 per person when traveling to the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, with the intended change, the Government has divided the world up into four geographical bands based on capital cities, which means that passengers will pay higher rates to visit all of the Caribbean islands compared to anywhere in the US, even though most of the US is further away. For example Los Angeles and Hawaii are almost double the distance from the UK than Barbados but the APD will be less than when travelling to the Caribbean.

This cannot be fair! 

This is an important issue for everybody who travels to the Caribbean as the intention of the Chancellor is to increase the tax by £10.00 per passenger next year and then by a further whopping £25.00 per passenger the year after!!

We’re urging all of our customers, the airlines and our industry partners to support us to stop the changes being made to Air Passenger Duty which penalise destinations which rely on British tourism for the wellbeing of their economies and in particular, YOU our customers.   

In the first instance we would urge you to join our campaign by signing an industry petition to the Prime Minister which can be found by clicking on the following link.

The link to Number 10 is:   http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/APDtax/





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Sagar Shah · February 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Its a shame that places like teh Carribean get harmed in the process, but increasing the taxes on air travel is the way forward to help prevent climate change.

This method of taxing, however, is unfair. Rather than splitting up the world into bands, the tax should be based on the distance travelled or simply on units of fuel used (which will have added benefit of incentivising airlines to use more efficient aeroplanes…

Gerard Batten - MEP · March 4, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Dear Ms Modi

You are of course quite correct – this whole issue of ever-rising air fares is just a revenue-raising scam by the government, using the sacred cow of so-called global warming caused by so-called carbon emissions. Unfortunately, however I do not believe that signing petitions will have any effect whatsoever.

What is needed is a government which does not merely posture and play politics with issues like this, but which believes in the freedom of the individual and defends the UK and its citizens.

UKIP totally disagrees with this ridiculous policy of constraining the freedom of our citizens to travel – you can see our environment and energy policy at http://www.ukip.org

If you really want to make a difference I would urge you to vote for us at the forthcoming European elections on June 4th and at local and general elections thereafter.

Gerard Batten MEP

    Heena Modi · March 4, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    It’s such a shame that you say the petitions will be pointless seeing as there seem to be more and more regarding different issues!
    Do you think there can ever be an honest, politics free government? It’s an amazing thought but perhaps for an ideal world, which we clearly don’t have! 🙂

    Thanks for the link – http://www.ukip.org

    I wanted to share some articles with you via the website but was told by the web master that external articles are not permitted. This is a shame because the voice of the ‘lay person’ is the one which will not be heard.

    Anyway take care
    Heena 🙂

Caroline Pidgeon AM · March 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Dear Heena Modi

Thank you for writing to the Liberal Democrat members of the London Assembly. As I speak on transport for the group, I am replying on behalf of my colleagues Mike Tuffrey and Dee Doocey.

Liberal Democrats nationally and in London agree with the points you make about the arbitrary nature of the geographical bands for the new Aviation Duty put in place by the Labour government.

The LibDems have long argued for greener and fairer aviation taxation. We called for an end to Air Passenger Duty and for aircraft taxation based on emissions rather than number of passengers. The old system encouraged inefficient half-empty flights and charged no duty on freight. We therefore welcomed the Government’s eventual agreement and the plans to scrap Air Passenger Duty for Aviation Duty but there is still a lot more work to be done.

Our preference is for Aviation Duty to be based on carbon emissions of the actual trip. This would involve the distance travelled by the airliner rather than just a geographical band and so we support your campaign to get this altered.

With best wishes
Caroline Pidgeon AM
Liberal Democrat Transport spokesperson, London Assembly

Syed Kamall · March 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Dear Heena,

I share your concerns about the Chancellor’s Air Passenger Duty. This new tax seems draconian and punishes travellers arbitrarily based on their distance from London. It also affects passengers travelling to the same country if one airport falls within one band and another falls in another band.

I have brought this proposal to the attention of the European Commission by means of a Parliamentary Question.

The Commission is now reviewing Mr Darling’s plans and will take appropriate steps if the review leads to any doubts over the compatibility of this tax regime with Community law.

You can read my Parliamentary Question and the Commission’s answer by following the link below.



Heena Modi · July 2, 2009 at 11:29 am

Read the Government’s response: –

Thank you for your e-petition.

In the 2008 Pre-Budget Report, the Government stated it would not proceed with a per plane tax but would instead retain and reform the existing Air Passenger Duty (APD) regime. This decision recognises the need to ensure greater stability in tax policy at a time of economic uncertainty, while maintaining environmental objectives.

In taking the decision to retain APD the Government has recognised that the environmental signals it provides could be improved. The responses to the consultation for the per plane tax highlighted signals could be enhanced by adding a greater number of distance bands, and almost every respondent agreed that an improved distance factor was important in an aviation tax.

Ministers understand some countries will be disappointed with the new banding structure for APD, and that any banded tax structure will see some instances close to the threshold. However, there is a clear rationale that those travelling farther should pay higher rates of APD and, in general, a geographical banding structure provides for this.

For APD purposes, the distance for each country is based on the distance between their capital and London. Basing the bands on distance to capital cities ensures the reformed APD remains administratively simple. Where existing systems allow, as with Russia, the Government has made the split between east and west.

When APD was introduced there was only one rate of tax – the standard rate. The reduced rate was introduced for travel in the lowest class of travel only, which was and still is the class of travel taken by the majority of passengers. However it is described, if premium economy is not the lowest class of travel it attracts the standard (rather than the reduced) rate of APD, and whether or not an individual or a family decides to travel in premium economy is a matter of choice.

Passengers from the UK regions who transit through another UK airport will not pay APD twice. There is an existing concession for connecting passengers. Under this concession a passenger possessing a connecting ticket is only charged APD once for their whole journey, irrespective of the number of flights they take, rather than for each individual stage. This concession is available for any airline to take advantage of; whether or not they choose to do so is a business decision.


Surya · August 27, 2009 at 12:47 am

This is a very interesting article indeed as we are all concerned about our finances at the moment especially in light of the downturn in world enconomy, and to find out we’re being ripped of by the airlines is just outrageous!!!

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