• Air Passenger Duty

    22 January 2020

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about Air Passenger Duty (APD).

    The rates for short-haul APD were frozen in 2017 and 2018, which benefitted 80 per cent of passengers, including all British holidaymakers travelling to Europe and most of north Africa.

    Furthermore, it remains the case that children are exempted from APD providing they are travelling in economy class. Since APD is paid by the airlines but often passed on to customers, I welcome the fact that costs are being kept down for most British travellers.

    Rates for long-haul flights have incrementally increased from April 2019, though I want to reassure you that I believe these increases were implemented fairly.  Currently, for passengers travelling in economy class, APD is an additional £2, and £4 for those in premium economy, business or first class. Long-haul private jet passengers have witnessed rate increases of £13.

    I understand the Treasury will be reviewing APD ahead of the March Budget, ensuring regional connectivity is supported. This review will also consider how any changes will contribute to meeting the UK’s climate change commitments, including our commitment to meet net zero by 2050.

    You may be interested to know that there is no tax on commercial aviation fuel or VAT charged for airline tickets. Therefore, APD helps to ensure that the aviation sector plays its part in contributing towards general taxation. Due to these duties, the sector contributes more than £3 billion a year, funding that would otherwise have to be found elsewhere.

    I am glad that the aviation sector continues to grow strongly, with passenger numbers at UK airports having grown by more than 20 per cent in the past decade. I believe there is strong evidence that reforms to APD have helped sustain this growth.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon