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Air Tax Up 10% in Latest Budget

Thursday March 22, 2012

Air Tax Up 10% in Latest Budget

If you´re thinking of booking flights to Lanzarote then you can save money by doing so in the next nine days. As Chancellor George Osborne´s budget has just added 10% to the cost of Air Passenger Duty – over twice the rate of inflation – which will be effective from the end of March.

Tourists flying in to Lanzarote will now be paying £13 per person in Air Passenger Duty, often referred to as the Poll Tax of the Skies, from April 1st. Up from £12 per person currently, an increase in Band A rates of 8%, as a result of the Chancellor’s latest budget. Which means that a family of four taking a holiday in the Canaries will now be paying a total of £52 in tax just to fly here.

Like the rest of Spain, Lanzarote falls within Band A of the UK´s aviation tax scheme. Rather than Band B, the bracket for many competing Middle East destinations such as Egypt and Tunisia. So on the upside it could be said that this gives the Canaries a distinct price advantage, as a family of four will now have to pay £260 in tax to fly to resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh.

The increase in Passenger Air Duty was not announced in yesterday’s budget statement, leading some commentators to accuse the Chancellor of trying to bury the bad news. And, perhaps predictably, this has led to robust criticism from industry spokespeople such as easyJet CEO Michael O´Leary. Whilst ABTA spokesperson Mark Tanzer has stated, “The Government has repeatedly said it looks to travel and tourism as one of its key drivers of growth but instead of listening to concerns that APD is stunting this growth, not only in travel but in the wider economy too, it has chosen to significantly increase the tax burden.”

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