The government is aiming to boost air travel within the UK through a 50% cut in domestic Air Passenger Duty (APD), from £13 to £6.50. The rate will apply to all flights between airports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (excluding private jets).
The government says around nine million passengers will pay less APD as a result when the reductions take effect in 2023-24.
The government is also introducing a new band of APD for ultra-long-haul distance travellers. The international distance bands will be set at 0-2,000 miles, 2,000-5,500 miles and 5,500 miles plus. The rates will be £13, £87 and £91 respectively for economy passengers.
Rishi Sunak explained;
"Right now, people pay more for return flights between the four nations of the United Kingdom than they do when flying home from abroad. We used to have a return leg exemption for domestic flights, but were required to remove it in 2001. But today I can announce that flights between airports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will, from April 2023, be subject to a new lower rate of air passenger. This will help cut costs of living with nine million passengers seeing their duty cut by half. It will bring people together across the United Kingdom. And because they tend to have a greater proportion of domestic passengers it is a boost to regional airports like Aberdeen, Belfast, Inverness and Southampton. Airports are major regional employers. So to help them get through the winter, I'm also extending our support for English airports for a further six months. We're also making changes to reduce carbon emissions from aviation. Most emissions come from international rather than domestic aviation. So we are introducing from April 2023 a new ultra long haul band in air passenger duty, covering flights of over 5,500 miles with an economy rate of £91. Less than 5% of passengers will pay more, but those who fly furthest will pay the most."
Commenting Andrew said:
"I welcome the UK Government’s acknowledgement that regional airports like Aberdeen are major employers who need support, especially during the pandemic.
“They keep people connected across the UK – an incredibly important aim at this time – and produce significantly less carbon than external flights.
“Halving APD for Aberdeen domestic services from April 2023 will help drive economic growth in the North East.
“And it is right to introduce the ultra long-haul band of air passenger duty, while keeping long haul APD in place. This will increase costs for less than 5% of travellers while having a major impact on carbon production.”