APD to change?

By | Category: Travel news

Writing in today’s Telegraph, (it’s no point me providing a link because you won’t be able to read the story unless you subscribe) Boris Johnson says that he wants to cut APD (Airline Passenger Duty) on domestic flights. Some have thought that this means that he wants to abolish it but that isn’t what he has written.

APD will rise again in April but will Boris amend it for domestic travel?

There is an anomaly in the way APD is calculated. If the flight is an in international flight outside the four home nations, then you pay APD on only the outbound part of the journey. If you fly within the UK you pay on both the outbound and inbound flights.

What Boris might be considering is aligning the duty so you only pay on the outbound sector only. Or to abandon it in the short term to encourage us to fly again and then  re-introduce it when normality returns. In the meantime, the “lost” value of the duty be removing it can be moved and added to the APD we are charged on international flights.

It comes at the same time that the interim report on union connectivity is published. This 61 page document is considering ways of improving transport links between the four nations. One of the items that the commissioners are considering is varying the rate of APD or rather considering what the “appropriate” rate of APD should be (page 4.) It also points out that domestic flight numbers have dropped to just 484,300 passengers in 2019 from 612,000 ten years earlier.

Whether the tax should exist at all is another matter. As I have written before, the government gets far too much tax from APD as a whole and isn’t going to trade that sum away until it is sure it can find a similar or higher amount elsewhere. The resolve must be even greater not to abandon the duty since it seems to have little influence over whether people fly or not.

Come the summer we should know if the full report will recommend end that APD be altered.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: ,