Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin
Atlantic, last week warned that the UK Governmentís plans to
increase taxes on air passengers are out of control and will hurt
passengers, the aviation industry and developing regions such as
the Caribbean and Africa.
The Air Passenger Duty (APD) paid
by passengers leaving the UK is due to increase by up to 113% by
November 2010, with the next phased increase due in November this
This means, for example, that the APD tax on a flight from
Heathrow to Dubai will go up from £40 to £60; the tax on a Premium
Economy ticket from Gatwick to Barbados will go up from £80 to
£150 and the tax on an Upper Class flight from Heathrow to Sydney
will rise from £80 to £170.
All Virginís e-tickets now
carry messages criticising theese unjust tax increase by the UK
Government, and asking passengers to visit a new page on the
website so they can protest to
their local MP about the increases.
Sir Richard Branson, said, "Air Passenger Duty is one of the most unjust
taxes out there. The UK Government has been quietly increasing APD
by huge amounts and claiming it is an environmental tax. Yet,
there's not a shred of evidence to suggest the £2billion+
currently raised is going towards environmental or sustainable
"Now the UK Government wants to again hike the
ridiculously high tax on your holiday or business trip - in
November this year and next - by up to 113%. I am urging
passengers to write to their local MP on why the planned increases
are out of control.
"The increases will hurt passengers,
the airline industry and developing regions such as the Caribbean
and Africa which rely on the airline industry to power their
economies, and enable family and friends based in the UK to visit
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