The fight against Britain’s unfair Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax continues with Caribbean countries now getting support from international carriers and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
According to the WTTC, over the next 12 months the British government could collect £2.8 billion in extra tax from air travellers, far more than any country in the world. In contrast, if the APD is removed, 91, 000 British jobs could be created and £4.2 billion added to the economy within the same time frame.
Last Monday, British Airways, Easy Jet, Virgin Atlantic and Ryan Air joined the petition against the tax, and called on the powers that be to suspend another scheduled increase for April 1.
According to airline sources, the eight per cent increase will reduce passenger numbers and hinder the UK’s economic recovery.
If the April 1 increases are implemented, a family of four flying from the UK to the Caribbean will have to fork out US$625.08 in taxes, compared with US$125.06 in 2005.
The airline sources warned that this could have a domino effect as fewer families flying would also result into less jobs within the tourism, aviation and hospitality industries. The sources added that the disproportionate tax on people’s holidays was also affecting business travel at a time when economies needed assistance.
Countries throughout the Caribbean and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation have been lobbying for a reduction and or the removal of the APD.