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(A) Fair Tax On Flying

What a difference a letter makes!

With the letter “A” in front, it’s an alliance of over 30 airlines, airports, tour operators, destinations and travel trade associations calling on the Government to make UK aviation tax fairer, i.e. the aviation industry calling for even more tax breaks. Click their logo to see their Facebook page.

Without the letter “A” in front, it’s a group dedicated to “publicising aviation’s REAL tax situation”, i.e. pointing out how much we’re all feather-bedding the aviation industry. Click their logo to see their Facebook page. Here’s what they have to say:


Airlines pay no tax on aircraft fuel

Motorists pay 59p a litre in fuel duty + VAT at 20%.  Thus petrol tax is at a rate of approx 160%. Tax on aviation fuel is 0%.

Airlines pay no VAT

  • There is no VAT on airline tickets.
  • There is no VAT on the purchase of aircraft.
    Motorists pay VAT at 20% on the purchase of cars.
  • There is no VAT on the servicing of aircraft.
    Motorists pay VAT at 20% on the servicing of their cars.
  • There is no VAT on goods sold in airport duty-free shops or on meals served on aircraft.
    Motorists pay VAT on most goods and meals in motorway cafés.

Airports pay no tax on alcohol and tobacco

No tax is paid on drink and tobacco sold in airport duty-free shops. Tax on a bottle of whisky in the High Street is £6.66. Tax on cigarettes in the local shop is about 80%.

Airlines do pay air passenger duty

The total revenue from air passenger duty in 2011-12 is forecast at £3 billion.

The Treasury estimated in October 2009 that the loss of revenue as a result of no fuel tax and no VAT on airlines was at least £10 billion a year. With the increase in fuel tax and VAT since then, the figure must now be around £12 billion.

To achieve fair tax with motorists, air passenger duty would need to be quadrupled!

Thus, compared to car travel, air travel benefits from an annual tax subsidy of around £9 billion.

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  1. A recent newspaper comment (Daily Mail 30.8.11 – Richard Littlejohn) said that 'The government wanted to decrease the number of people flying to help save the planet' … and 'According to Transport Department figures, only 250 million people will pass through Britain's airports in 2015 compared with earlier estimates of up to 315 million'.If this is the case where does Infratil think all their passengers numbers are going to come from? Also with the increase in train faires in Kent it will make it very expensive for families to use public transport to travel to the airport. Why should we in Ramsgate suffer the pollution, noise and danger of heavy cargo nights flights simply because the countries of origin have BANS on night flights themselves.There is so little aircraft activity during the day that it is ridiculous to expect the airport to be busier at night than during the day just to give Infratil shareholders in New Zealand a profit – that will not be invested in the English economy.