Taxes soar on air travel, goodbye Premium Economy?
Need to fly somewhere? Can you get there and back by Sunday? No? Boo. Then you'll have to pay a metric fuckton more tax on your travels from November 1st, as passengers are screwed even further by taxation. Announced in April's budget, the new Air Passenger Duty took effect immediately, so passengers booking flights for trips after November 1st have already paid the tax.
How much is it? Lots. And then a bit more. Currently an economy passenger pays £10 APD on a short-haul flight and £40 on a long-haul journey. The new level of taxation creates four bands of tax based on length of route, and the class of seat:
Bizarrely, Premium Economy has been lumped in with Business and First Class - presumably because it includes the word Premium. However, the difference is taxation between the two is 100 per cent - forcing all those honeymooning couples and thirty bob millionaires to pay double the tax paid in Economy. When you consider the impact this tax makes on longer flights versus the percentage increase in ticket cost, and realise the benefits of Premium Economy aren't a huge deal breaker compared to the cheap seats - could this kill off Premium Economy in the UK?
The airlines are predictably and arguably quite rightly doing their nut about this. Not only does it threaten business at a time when the industry is suffering, but nobody sees this "green" tax revenue going anywhere but the Government coffers.
[Table courtesy of Business Traveller]