Stating that it’s time to reform Air Passenger Duty (APD), George Osborne has announced all long-haul flights will be subject to the band B tax rate, with private jets now being taxed.
The standard rate for band B is currently £134. This'll now apply to all long-haul flights, with the higher bands C and D being abolished.
The government will also be giving start-up support for new routes from regional airports, too, in another bid to spread its “Made in Britain” slogan.
APD is something which has been particularly irksome to Scottish airports, so, ahead of the referendum, this may well be a welcome piece of news to them in particular.
Today’s confirmation coincides with Ireland’s preparation to scrap its equivalent - Air Travel Tax - from 1 April, but it still leaves the UK as just one of five European countries to levy a passenger departure tax on flights.
Following the change to Air Passenger Duty announced in today's Budget, Virgin Atlantic has responded:
A two band APD rate is a very welcome simplification to remove some of the biggest distortions of the current system, which the Chancellor himself admitted is crazy and unjust. The Government has rightly recognised the damage APD is having on exporters and the travelling public alike.
A tax system which penalised high growth emerging economies such as China and India was always contrary to the Government's stated policy on trade and exports, so this is a positive step that recognises the impact of this economically damaging tax.
Many had been worried that an increase could've been announced. British Air Transport Association chief executive Simon Buck said yesterday that “to increase the tax yet again would – quite simply– defy economic logic, acting as a further brake on inbound and outbound tourism.”
Read our full summary of the budget here.