The cost of flying from British airports on some airlines increased on Thursday after the UK government imposed a controversial rise in air passenger duty(APD). Chancellor Gordon Brown has doubled the APD for short-haul passengers in economy class up from £5 to £10. In other classes they will pay £20 up from £10.
Long-haul passengers in economy class will pay £40, up from £20, others classes will pay £80, up from £40.
These higher rates only affect flights from UK airports.
British Airways have said they will absorb the increases, while easyJet is asking passengers to pay.
EasyJet estimates that almost 10 million passengers will be affected.
Some airlines are concerned that the APD does not distinguish between the cleanest and the dirtiest carriers and is a blunt tax instrument.
Airlines emphasise that the duty is also going straight to the UK Treasury rather than being earmarked specifically for environmental programmes.
“APD is the wrong tax for the economy and the wrong tax for the environment. It penalises all airlines and aircraft equally, when clearly some airlines are much more environmentally efficient than others,” says Andy Harrison, easyJet’s Chief Executive.
“The Chancellor has come up with a tax that will do nothing for the environment while penalising the travelling public even more.”