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Media Berichten over de Vliegbelasting

UK Air Passenger Duty to remain, rise under new distance scheme

Air Transport World by Aaron Karp 25 Nov.08

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, who had been considering replacing the Air Passenger Duty with a direct "per-plane" fee levied on airlines, yesterday made the surprise announcement that the APD will remain under a new scheme that will impose ascending fees on passengers based on the distance travelled to/from UK airports.

Darling explained to parliament that he has developed "a four-band [APD] system ensuring those that travel further and have a larger environmental impact meet that cost. . .This will be effective in reducing emissions from aviation."

Band A, covering EU flights, will rise from the current 10 ($14.90) each way to 11 on Nov. 1, 2009, and to 12 in November 2010. Band B, for flights up to 4,000 mi. (covering, for example, US flights), will increase from 40 one-way to 45, then to 60. Band C, covering longer distances including Caribbean flights, will lift from 40 one-way to 50, then 75. Band D, covering the longest flights such as those to Asia, will increase from 40 one-way to 60, then 85. APDs on premium passengers will be double those rates.

UK airlines denounced the revised APD regime as an unfair tax on passengers, while international carriers alleged it contravened the Chicago Convention.

EasyJet CEO Andy Harrison said he is "dismayed," adding, "All parties agreed that APD needed to be changed to a tax on planes not people, but now the government has succeeded in bodging-up the reform of an already bodged tax. [Darling] has made a bad situation worse by increasing the burden of APD on hard-working families."

Virgin Atlantic Airways stated, "While hard-working middle-class families are feeling the effects of the recession, the chancellor has chosen to tax families that want to escape on holiday." British Airways said it was "disappointed that aviation has again been targeted for increased taxation" and argued that the fee-by-distance plan would hurt its long-haul business, dealing a "further blow to the industry at a time when it is reeling." US Air Transport Assn. President and CEO James May said, "This is an illegal action, which we expect to be settled in the courts."

Darling said he backed away from the per-plane fee (ATWOnline, Oct. 10, 2007) because it "could harm the aviation industry at a time when it is facing huge problems," whereas the revised APD scheme would directly tax passengers for the environmental impact of their air travel.

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