Air Passenger Duty: What is it and how much will it cost to fly?

The end of the half-year vacation is getting closer and closer, and many families are returning from their recreational vacation to destinations like Spain or Cyprus.

Yesterday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced changes in air passenger charges that are supposed to make it cheaper to travel to certain places and more expensive to others.

In doing so, he potentially made destinations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland more attractive and at the same time discouraged long trips to Australia or New Zealand.

Read more: All the financial support you can get from the government this winter

But you may not know what air passenger obligations are or how it affects where you are going.

Whatever the reason for your trip – for example to go on vacation, to see relatives or to go sightseeing – it is worth knowing what changes are pending and how much it costs to fly. So here is what we know.

What is passenger obligation?

The Passenger Tax is a UK government tax levied on all flights boarded by anyone aged 16 and over from a UK airport.

This means that for domestic travel – within the UK – and for international travel – for those traveling outside of the UK – the fee will be charged. What you pay depends on where you are going and what class you are traveling in.

The system has two main bands. Volume A covers all flights where the distance between the UK capital London and the capital of the destination country is less than 2,000 miles. This applies to domestic flights and those in Europe, for example to France and Spain, and North Africa, for example to Morocco or Algeria.

Volume B, meanwhile, is the same, but for over 2,000 miles. So that goes for long haul flights to places like the United States, Japan, and Australia. There is a special band for Russia because it is so big.

Within these bands, you pay a reduced, standard or higher tariff, depending on the class and seat type.

What is changing and how much does it cost to fly?

Current fares for passengers traveling to a destination of 2,000 miles or less are £ 13 in Economy Class. The government does not intend to increase this fee in 2022. For people in a higher class, you pay either £ 26 or £ 78, depending on whether it is Premium Economy, Business or First Class.

For those who fly more than 2,000 miles, they pay more. A one-way ticket currently has a passenger fee of £ 82, but is expected to increase to £ 84 from April next year. The standard and higher tariffs in this area will also increase from £ 180 to £ 185 and from £ 541 to £ 554. It will rise back to £ 87 for Economy Class in April 2023.

There will also be two new bands from April 2023. The first is easy for UK domestic flights. This means that travelers within England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are subject to a lower tax. This is initially set at £ 6.50 per flight.

The second new band is for longer long haul flights of 5,500 miles or more. That comes from April 2023 and costs 91 pounds for economy class.


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