Planes not passengers to be taxedOlder planes with more empty seats are set to be penalised by the new aviation tax that will replace Air Passenger Duty in 2009.
At present it is passengers rather than planes that pay the tax. Air Passenger Duty (APD) was doubled in the last Budget. Passengers in the UK are currently charged £10 each way in economy and £20 each way in business class for flights within the EU. These charges are doubled for flights outside the EU..
The new aviation tax is designed to encourage the aviation industry to reduce carbon emissions by using more fuel-efficient modern planes, and to reduce the number of empty seats. All long-haul flights currently pay the same irrespective of how far they go, but it is expected the new tax will also be linked to the distance flown.
Not surprisingly the new tax has been welcomed by environmental groups. A tax that penalises airlines for flying half-empty planes makes a lot of sense, comments John Sauven of Greenpeace.
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Written by: Nick Purdom
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