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The United Kingdom Will Hike Air Passenger Duty Tax For Business Class and First Class Seats

The United Kingdom Will Hike Air Passenger Duty Tax For Business Class and First Class Seats

a seat with a monitor on the back of the seat

Conservative Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that he will hike the tax that First and Business Class passengers must pay on airfares in the form of the UK’s controversial ‘Air Passenger Duty’.

In a bid to boost the government’s coffers by making people with “the broadest shoulders” pay more in taxes, Hunt announced during his Spring budget on Wednesday that passengers travelling in premium cabins should soon have to pay even more for the privilege.

Air Passenger Duty currently ranges from just £6.50 for a domestic flight in Economy Class to more than £600 for long-haul private jet passengers.

The so-called ‘Standard Rate’ for First and Business Class passengers starts at £13 for a domestic flight, £26 for international flights up to 2,000 miles, £191 for flights between 2,001 and 5,500 miles and £200 for flights over 5,500 miles.

The tax was already due to rise by more than 7% for domestic flights starting in April 2024. Smaller increases were planned for long-haul flights.

The Standard Rate applies to all aircraft seats with a pitch of 40 inches or more. In the case of short-haul Business Class seats, which are typically just a standard Economy Seat with a blocked middle seat, the higher Standard Rate still applies if passengers get a different standard of “comfort, service, privacy or amenities”.

Air Passenger Duty currently rakes in £3.8 billion a year for the government. The Chancellor had previously pledged not to increase taxes in a way that would discourage flying.

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