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Published on Thursday, March 11, 2021

UK set to cut air passenger duty for domestic flights

The airline industry welcomed news the long-awaited plans to review Air Passenger Duty will finally happen.

A government consultation will take place this spring and look at all options, including a new lower rate for domestic flight segments.

It could lead to almost halving the rate of APD by bringing in a flat £7 rate for all domestic flights.

PM Boris Johnson wants to reduce APD on domestic flights to help 'support connectivity' across the nation in order for a speedier post-pandemic recovery.

Airlines have been calling for a reduction in Air Passenger Duty which was blamed as a factor in the demise of regional airline Flybe.

The tax is currently a minimum of £13 per passenger for flights from a UK airport.

The review will look at increasing the number of distance bands for calculating APD, which currently stands at only two.

"Domestic aviation suffered a double-hit in the last year, with the collapse of Flybe and the Covid-19 pandemic, and this offers a glimmer of hope for the future," said Airport Operators Association Chief Executive Karen Dee.

BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton said: "We welcome the Government's announcement of a consultation on reform of domestic APD. It is important that domestic connectivity is reinvigorated post-Covid as this is something which can really help power our economic recovery."

 "The double taxation of domestic flights is an anomaly which is a real barrier to new routes being established and new connections being made between the regions and nations of the UK."

While the move is welcomed by the aviation industry, it was slammed by green groups.

"A reduction in APD would 'continue our nonsensical trend of the higher the carbon, the lower the tax," said Dr Doug Parr, chief scientist for Greenpeace UK.

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