British Airways continues pressure on travel tax

British Airways, which flies between Grand Cayman and the United Kingdom, has reiterated its unhappiness with a long-haul tax. 

In a message to frequent fliers with the carrier, Chief Executive Officer Keith Williams expressed the company’s disappointment with the duty and announced a campaign to pressurise the government. 

“In the last six years, air passenger duty – paid by airlines for each passenger departing a UK airport – has risen more than 300 per cent on many routes – while inflation has increased barely 20 per cent,” he wrote. 

“Some customers are now paying £184 for a single journey, while the cost for families taking their annual holiday has sky-rocketed: In 2006, a family of four flying from the UK to the Caribbean would pay £80 in duty – today they would pay £324 in World Traveller, or £648 in World Traveller Plus, Club World, or First. 

This level of increase had no justification and no international parallel, he wrote, yet the UK government had firm plans to keep on raising APD every year to 2017. 

He added that the tax also acted as a brake on growth and jobs for the whole economy by making it more difficult for businesses to reach new markets and making the UK less attractive to overseas visitors.  

A special website has therefore been created where non-UK residents can sign up to generate an automatic letter to the UK minister responsible for the duty, chancellor George Osbourne. 

“[This calls] for action on a tax that is now far too high and inflicting real damage on the UK’s efforts to move out of recession. Add your name, send and you’re done. 

“This is an important campaign – and I hope you will support us in it,” 
he said. 

British Airways plane landing

British Airways plane landing
File

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