The United Kingdom has what’s known as the Air Passenger Duty (APD), which is the highest passenger tax on air travel anywhere in the world. It looks like it will be increasing even further in 2022, despite the travel industry having collapsed.
The UK’s APD increase as of April 2022
The United Kingdom will be increasing the Air Passenger Duty for long haul flights in all cabins as of April 2022:
- The long haul economy APD will increase by £2, from £82 to £84 (~$117)
- The long haul premium economy, business class, and first class APD will increase by £5, from £180 to £185 (~$259)
- The long haul private jet APD will increase by £13, from £541 to £554 (~$775)
A few things to note:
- For these purposes, long haul is defined as a journey of 2,000+ miles
- The short haul APD won’t be adjusted in 2022; that continues to be £13 in economy and £26 in business class
- This APD hike has been revealed as part of the UK’s latest budget announcement, as we do tend to see APD increases annually; for example, in April 2021 we’ll see the economy long haul APD increase by £2, and we’ll see the premium economy, business class, and first class long haul APD increase by £4
- This is only one tax that applies on flights out of the UK, as there are plenty of other airport and customs taxes, including a new Heathrow Airport coronavirus tax
Heathrow Airport recently added a new coronavirus tax
What passengers have to pay the UK APD?
The UK Air Passenger Duty applies to any flight originating in the UK — this means that if you’re simply transiting the UK on one ticket then you shouldn’t be on the hook for this.
Rather it’s charged based on having a journey originating in the UK (even if it’s the return portion of a ticket), regardless of where you’re connecting.
Suffice to say that the UK APD is controversial:
- It’s a tax against those in the UK, rather than those who simply connect in the UK, as the latter group doesn’t have to pay this
- High taxes negatively impact demand for air travel, since it makes flying more expensive; the airline industry will be struggling for a while, so to see this tax get even more expensive will be disappointing to both airlines and many consumers
The increased UK APD is bad for airlines
The UK Air Passenger Duty for long haul flights will be increasing by £2 to £13 in 2022, despite the horrible situation the airline industry is in. As you’d expect, the UK’s revenue from the APD is way down this year given the lack of demand for travel. However, that’s not stopping the government from increasing this tax even further.
What do you make of the UK’s constant APD hikes?