Thank you for contacting me about Air Passenger Duty (APD).
The Government has continued to reform APD in the interests of passengers. Duties on long flights have been reduced. Furthermore, duties on short flights have been frozen, and will only rise by inflation from 2018-19. Children have also been exempt from APD providing they are travelling in Economy Class. Taken together, these reforms provided a tax saving to the aviation sector of over £300m in 2016/17 alone. Since APD is paid by the airlines, but often passed onto customers, I welcome the savings British travellers will make.
You may be interested to know also that there is no tax on aviation fuel or VAT charged for aviation travel. Therefore, the Government needs to ensure that the aviation sector plays its part in contributing towards general taxation through APD. Due to these duties the sector contributes £3.1 billion a year, funding that would otherwise have to be found elsewhere.
I am pleased that the aviation sector continues to grow strongly. Passenger numbers at UK airports have grown by 19 per cent since 2010. I believe the Government's recent reforms to APD have helped sustain this growth.
I hope this reassures you that the Government is firmly committed to ensuring aviation in the UK remains affordable and internationally competitive.
Uploaded October 2017