Airlines warn over air levy and tax hikes

AIRLINES have warned that the government’s plans to increase the departure levy could see passengers avoid the UK’s airports.

It is thought that the rise in the levy, which is set for November, will cost a family of four travelling abroad up to £300 extra in taxes a year.

The government is also planning to tax airlines on the number of planes they operate rather than the number of passengers are being carried.

British Airways (BA) argued air travel in the UK is already the most heavily taxed in the world.

The airline said in a statement: “Increased taxation on the UK aviation industry will create a financial incentive for customers to fly via Continental hubs rather than direct from or transitting through UK airports.”

Budget rival easyJet said that it does not support the rise in a departure levy, but favours the new “per plane tax”.