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UK airlines renew assault on Air Passenger Duty

UK airlines renew assault on Air Passenger Duty

Four airlines in the United Kingdom and Ireland have united to reiterate their strong opposition to Air Passenger Duty (APD).

Usually antagonistic rivals easyJet and Ryanair were joined by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic in outlining their resistance to the tax during a consultation process with the coalition government.

Introduced in 1994, the tax sees passengers pay between £24 and £170 on every flight out of the UK depending on seat class and length of journey.

However, the government argued APD had been frozen this year, while also stating UK did not levy VAT on flights, unlike some rival destinations.

North Ireland also saw its exposure to the tax cut recently.

The direct long-haul rate of APD on flights from Northern Ireland will fall to the lower short-haul rate - £12 per passenger in economy and £24 for business and first class passengers - chancellor George Osborne confirmed.

APD presently adds £60 to an economy fare and £120 to a business ticket.

Sharp increases in APD are, however, expected across the UK next year.

APF is expected to generate more than £2 billion this year.