Belfast Telegraph

Airline signs up 2,000 for petition against travel tax

Over 2,000 people have signed a petition against Air Passenger Duty (APD) in just three days, it can be revealed.

A campaign against the contentious tax, which is levied on all flights from the UK, was launched by Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline.

The company said there had been a surge in ticket sales after it pledged to give passengers an equivalent tax rebate. The refund applies to travel between October 27, 2013 and October 25, 2014 across 116 different routes.

Niall Duffy, Flybe UK's head of PR and public affairs, said it aimed to highlight the unfairness on APD for customers and the aviation industry.

"This campaign was slightly different, as it was not just simply us advertising our flights, but an attempt to once again raise the issue of APD and in particular the double hit that UK domestic passengers suffer," said Mr Duffy.

"The economic development of any region is dependent upon the access and communications into and out of that region.

"As Europe's largest airline, Flybe vows to continue to put pressure on the Government until it reconsiders this punitive and unfair tax."

When it was introduced in 1994, passengers paid just £5 in APD to fly anywhere in the European Union, or £10 for elsewhere.

Today, however, a family of four flying across the Atlantic will pay £268 – up £8 from last year.

From now on, APD will rise in line with inflation.

Flybe received over 2,000 customer signatures in three days for its petition to the chancellor of the exchequer calling upon him to introduce a fair deal for UK domestic aviation.

Belfast Telegraph