The measure was announced as part of George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, and he also pledged to extend the exemption to include children under 16 from March 2016.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways’ parent company IAG, said that although scrapping APD for children might be popular with some voters and will be welcomed by hard pressed families travelling on their summer holidays, “it will do nothing to improve the UK economy”.
Walsh added: “APD must be axed in its entirety not just for children. The UK still has the highest flying tax in the world and it should be abolished to allow the aviation and tourism industries to flourish, to the benefit of the wider UK economy.”
And Carolyn McCall, Easyjet chief executive, said: “We support anything which makes travel easier and more affordable for our passengers and we hope this is the first step towards the complete abolition of APD.”
Shares in British Airways were up by 1.26 per cent yesterday, and Easyjet’s shares went up by 2.46 per cent.