Freeze In UK Air Passenger Duty

Chancellor of the Exchequer Chancellor George Osborne today told the House of Commons that there will be no increase in the Air Passenger Duty (APD) until 2012.

He also indicated that a consultation would commence straightaway to examine the efficacy of the current distance banding for assessing the duty.

“It is no doubt welcome news for the viability of the UK national transportation system and for foreign destinations heavily dependent upon British holidaymakers that the Air Passenger Duty will not be increased,” said Business Travel Coalition chairman Kevin Mitchell.

“However, the current levels of duty still represent a huge problem and they must be radically reduced to bring the UK back into competitive alignment with other countries for meetings, incentive trips and conventions. The next order of business is to expand the coalition of concerned parties outside the UK and deepen communications with UK government officials.”

The news should also be welcomed by Caribbean tourism stakeholders who say the tax is unfair.


UK Airline Passenger Tax Remains For Now

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) is now looking at how else the UK’s Airline Passenger Duty (APD) can be fought, now that the new government in Britain has put off a decision on changing it. Read more of this post

UK Passenger (Flight) Tax Being Scrapped

Britain’s new coalition government has announced it’s getting rid of the controversial Air Passenger Duty (APD). And Caribbean tourism officials are keeping their fingers crossed that the change will be for the better. Read more of this post

Airlines Expected To Lose $5.6 Billion In 2010

The global airline industry will face another harrowing year in 2010, with losses expected to reach $5.6 billion despite some recovery in passenger and cargo traffic, an industry group said Tuesday.

Low yields and rising costs are a “continuing disaster” for world airlines, who have already lost $49 billion since 2000, according to the International Air Transport Association. The industry group maintained its estimate of $11 billion full-year losses for 2009.

“The worst is likely behind us,” said IATA chief executive Giovanni Bisignani. “Some key statistics are moving in the right direction. Demand will likely continue to improve and airlines are expected to drive down non-fuel unit costs.” Read more of this post

British Air Tax Takes Effect

Britain yesterday (01 Nov) went ahead with implementing the first phase of an increase in its air passenger tax, despite cries from Caribbean countries about the impact it would have on their tourism industries.

The structure of the Air Passenger Duty (APD) has been adjusted so that destinations are now divided into four distance bands.

Although the price of the shortest flights rose by just £1 (US$1.64), the revised APD regime will place long haul destinations like those in the Caribbean in one of the highest bands, with economy class passengers facing a tax of £50 (US$73) per ticket as of November 2009, and the amount increasing to £75 (US$110) in 2010. The proposed tax for premium economy, business, and first class tickets, will be double those amounts. Read more of this post

Caribbean Protests Unfair UK Flight Tax

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), has written to Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling urging them to rethink a tax that favours America over Caribbean destinations.

“The increased tax is inherently unfair and not the least bit ‘green’,” said Mr Bartlett (Jamaica tourism minister). “The structure this tax suggests that the impact of a flight to Jamaica is greater than one to Los Angeles or Honolulu. Why should Caribbean countries with relatively low emissions suffer the effects of an environmental tax in favour of the world’s biggest polluter.”

The number of travellers from the UK to the Caribbean totalled 1.24m last year, spending an estimated $2.4bn (£1.45bn) in the region, according to CTO statistics. The top four islands where most was spent by travellers from Britain were Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Antigua. Read more of this post

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