The British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) is opposing further increases to the UK’s air passenger duty (APD) tax that would steeply raise fees for business aircraft passengers. Though the proposed changes would simplify and reduce charges for scheduled airline passengers, the association charges that business aviation was “specifically targeted” to pay more.
According to BBGA, the proposed increased charges that would take effect April 15, 2015, are “considerably higher, in terms of the specific amount and the additional cost.” While the majority of outbound sectors are currently charged at a rate of £276 ($447) per passenger, under the proposal this rises to £427 ($691)–a 54-percent increase, the BBGA noted. “In contrast, first-class airline passengers will enjoy significant reductions on legs above 4,000 miles–a situation that is unfair and inequitable,” it said.
“The proposal for charges to business aviation aircraft with mtows above 20,000 kilograms [44,090 pounds] is neither fair nor balanced,” BBGA CEO Marc Bailey said. “We thought initially that the Treasury had made a change that adversely impacted business aviation as an unintended consequence. Now it is clear that, using an arbitrary threshold, the government has deliberately chosen to tax our clients.” Further, he said, unlike the previous APD discussions in 2012, the BBGA was not consulted either formally or informally.