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NEWS Last modified on December 3, 2014

UK government scraps air passenger duty for children

The UK government’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has abolished air passenger duty (APD) for children under the age of 12 in his Autumn Statement today.

Responding to the announcement about the move that will take effect from May 1 2015, and then children under the age of 16 the following year, Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association (AOA) the trade body for UK airports, welcomed the news.

“The Airport Operators Association supports the positive decision to scrap APD on children. This will make it easier for hard-working families to enjoy an affordable holiday, and provides a welcome shot in the arm to the UK tourism sector, whether domestic, outbound or inbound.

“Taken together with the Budget decision in March to abolish APD Bands C and D on long-haul journeys, it is clear the Treasury is acknowledging that not only are high-levels of APD an unnecessary barrier to business growth and investment but also a block on both UK holidaymakers seeking a break around the UK or overseas and a disincentive to potential inbound tourists, put off by high air taxes on families.

“We will of course continue to campaign for APD to come down across the board, in all areas of the UK. But for now the Chancellor should be commended for taking this bold decision.”

Carolyn McCall, CEO of easyJet, says it was really good news, and provides savings of £13 per child on flights to destinations in the UK and Europe and as much as £69 on our longer flights to Egypt and Tel Aviv.

She continues: “We support anything which makes travel easier and more affordable for our passengers and we hope this is the first step towards the complete abolition of APD.

“The UK currently has the highest air passenger taxes in the world. APD is tax on travel and has a proven, negative impact on UK tourism, investment and business activity.

“Abolishing APD would boost the UK economy and pay for itself by increasing revenues from other sources. Research by PwC has revealed that the GDP boost to the UK economy would amount to at least £16 billion in the first three years and result in almost 60,000 extra jobs in the UK over the longer term.

“We call on all political parties to commit to the complete abolition of this damaging tax.”

EasyJet will be refunding the APD for customers who have already booked tickets for children over two and under 12 on flights departing UK airports on or after May 1, 2015.

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