Airlines up in arms over lack of action on passenger levy

Marion Dakers
THE AVIATION industry yesterday slammed the chancellor for refusing to cut air passenger duty (APD).

George Osborne said APD will rise at the rate of the retail prices index rate of inflation from 1 April and again in 2014, as planned. He spurned calls from travel groups to give passengers a reprieve on the levy, which will from next month cost between £26 and £188 per flight in or out of the country.

“These rises in APD show the emptiness of rhetoric on boosting exports to emerging economies and building the most competitive tax system in the world,” said the bosses of IAG, Ryanair, EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic in a joint statement.

The Office of Budget Responsibility expects APD to raise £2.8bn this year, rising to £3.8bn by 2017-18 – a drop of £100m per year compared to its earlier forecast.