In his autumn Statement yesterday, George Osborne announced that in May 2015 APD (Airport Passenger Duty) is to be abolished for children under the age of 12 flying in economy class. In 2016, all children under the age of 16 flying in economy will be exempt from this charge.
This will mean far better deals for families and a typical family of four could save up to £140 each time they fly from the UK.
The scrapping of the tax for the under 12s comes at a time when the two highest APD tax bands are also being dropped and the travel industry has applauded today’s announcement, which provide a much-needed boost to the industry and help establish a more level playing field with competitors across Europe.
At the same time, however, lobbying continues to have the tax more widely reviewed with a view to setting a fairer, more competitive level or, ideally, having it removed it altogether.
British travellers are hit with some of the highest taxes around the world and APD itself has arisen by approximately 160% since it was introduced 20 years ago. Ireland got rid of its own APD in April of this year and there is a possibility that a devolved Scottish parliament could reduce APD in order to attract more airlines to Scotland and to make travel more affordable for travellers.