Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Global traveler: Aviation tax hike

easyJet, the UK’s largest airline, has warned that millions of passengers flying in Britain and mainland Europe face an aviation tax hike if the UK government’s proposals to increase air passenger duty are implemented.

Yet, at the same time, the government is proposing that long haul business class travelers will enjoy a huge cut of up to £56 per passenger in the amount of tax they pay.? ?



The government’s consultation on air travel taxes closed with short haul domestic and European passengers facing more tax than ever before.



Under the proposals a family of four wanting to enjoy a holiday or short break trip will face a whopping 33 per cent tax rise - leaving them paying a total of £64 for each Europe – and £128 for flights between Northern Ireland or Scotland and England.



?easyJet’s chief executive, Carolyn McCall, comments: “Family holidays will be clobbered by the Government. This is unfair on hard working families.



“Why should long haul business class passengers get a tax reduction while families who just want to enjoy a well earned break will pay so much more?



“Britain is one of the only European countries to tax air passengers. Raising this tax contradicts the Government's pledges to fairness and to the environment. It will hurt our economy and harm British jobs.”



Japan: Pop hop ?



Fans of manga, anime and Japanese pop culture are promised a trip of a lifetime in August – including a private tour of one of the country’s top anime studios.



Other highlights of the week long adventure with Japan Journeys (0207 766 5267, japanjourneys.co.uk) will be entry to the Ghibli Museum, and a guided tour of Toyko including visiting Nakano Broadway where participants will find Mandarake and countless other manga speciality stores.



Then it’s on to Akihabara, Tokyo’s ‘Electric Town’ – home to dozens of anime, manga and electronic goods stores – and a guided tour of one of Japan’s top working anime studios.



The tour runs between August 25 – September 1 and includes return scheduled flights, transfers, six night’s hotel accommodation, breakfast and the services of a knowledgeable, bilingual guide throughout. The cost is £1,625 per person sharing, £185 single supplement.



France: Alpine summer



Verbier is renowned as a fantastic ski resort but it is also a beautiful place to visit during the summer. To coincide with The Lodge in Verbier’s summer season beginning, Virgin Limited Edition (0208 600 0430, virginlimitededition.com) has an assortment of great offers to choose from, including a free night add-on for stays of four nights or more.



Rates start at £280 per person per night, valid from June 17 until September 19. This rate includes accommodation, with all meals and drinks including fine wines and champagne, as well as 24-hour driver service within Verbier.



The Lodge is also offering three special packages. For adrenalin junkies there is the ‘Alpine Adventures’ summer offer, where guests can create their own active experience choosing, from a range of activities.



For those who have never played golf in the Alps then the ‘Golf with Altitude’ offer is the perfect opportunity – though views over the mountains are so spectacular they may have trouble concentrating on their swing.



If the idea of all that activity sounds a little too much there is also the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate with a ‘Summer Spa Retreat’. Guests can unwind with spa treatments chosen from a wide range of treatments on offer and, if this isn’t enough, The Lodge also has an indoor pool, outdoor and indoor Jacuzzis and a steam room. Rates for these offers start from £965 per person for a three-night stay.

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