Trade association Abta has called on the industry to concentrate its efforts on opposing next year’s planned APD increase.
The plea came in response to calls from Virgin Atlantic to increase the level of short-haul APD, the carrier claiming that would be fairer than raising the tax across the board.
Despite the government putting an expected rise on hold this year, holidaymakers face a double inflation rise in 2012.
Abta is leading a coalition of travel industry companies under its A Fair Tax on Flying campaign, although a rival ‘Hands off our holiday, Mr Taxman’ campaign has now been launched by the Airport Operators Association.
Stephen D’Alfonso, Abta research and public affairs manager, said: “The key challenge with APD is its massive overall level.
“The simple fact is that no other European family is facing this stealth tax at the high level that British families are, whether they are holidaying in Spain or the Caribbean.
“We need to concentrate our energies on getting the Government to backtrack on next year’s double-inflation increase which could add as much as 10% to the current levels of APD and that doesn’t even include money collected from the [EU] Emission Trading Scheme.”
Virgin’s stance puts it in direct opposition to easyJet, which argues short-haul APD should be reduced at the expense of long-haul APD to discourage the most environmentally unfriendly forms of flying.
The AOA believes it can thwart next year’s planned rise and ultimately its campaign could see the tax, which its argues is damaging to the UK economy, being scrapped altogether.
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