Delivering his annual Budget UK chancellor George Osborn has confirmed Air Passenger Duty will rise later this year.
Addressing the House of Commons earlier, Osborn said APD rates will increase by eight per cent from April 1st.
The decision comes despite intensive lobbying efforts from the tourism industry and drew almost instant criticism
Airport Operators Association chief executive Darren Caplan said: “I am dismayed that the chancellor has gone ahead with this double inflation increase.
“We already have the highest aviation taxes in Europe, and this new increase will hit the tourism industry and needlessly jeopardise the recovery of the economy as a whole.”
Osborn also confirmed the government will proceed with the extension of APD to cover flights taken aboard business jets from April 1st next year.
Research published last week by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) found removing Air Passenger Duty would result in an additional 91,000 British jobs being created and £4.2 billion added to the economy in just 12 months.
Compared with seven years ago, APD rates have risen 160 per cent on short-haul, and up to 360 per cent on long-haul.
Inflation over the period has been about 18 per cent.
WTTC president David Scowsill said: “Air Passenger Duty is a completely disproportionate tax on people’s holidays and is hitting business travel hard.