TRAVELLERS in the UK are hit by some of the world’s highest taxes on flying, says Independent Scottish accountancy firm Campbell Dallas.
A study by Campbell Dallas’ membership network UHY shows that the UK imposes Air Passenger Duty (APD) of £13 on short haul flights, and £71 on long haul flights leaving from airports in England and Wales.
The charges are currently the highest within the EU and well above the average for G7 countries, which currently sits at £10 (US$15) on short haul flights and £23 ($34) on long haul flights.
The global average, based on countries where aviation taxes are imposed, is currently £15 ($23) on short haul flights and £35 ($53) on long haul flights. Many countries, however, do not currently impose any taxes on individual air passengers.
Campbell Dallas says: “these additional costs damage tourism penalise SMEs trying to expand overseas, disadvantage remote regional cities, and chip away at labour mobility.
They may also affect airlines’ abilities to offer less profitable routes, which can reduce regional cities’ attractiveness as a business location.”
A recent House of Commons Transport Committee report also indicated that APD directly affects the growth and viability of smaller airports.
The UK government has recently taken some steps to reduce the high costs facing air passengers, with APD for under-12s was abolished in May of this year.
As of April 1, charges on journeys over 4000 miles were also reduced but levies on journeys between 2000 and 4000 miles increased.
The Scottish Government has committed to cutting Air Passenger Duty by 50% when powers are devolved under the Scotland Act.