The government concluded its consultation process on air travel taxes yesterday and, if their plans are implemented, short haul domestic and European flyers are set to be hit by large increases. According to the UKs largest carrier, easyJet, families will be looking at air travel tax increases of 33%. Britain is the only country to implement air taxes and what it means for holidaymakers is the situation where flights to Europe will cost £64 in taxes while the tax burden on flights from Northern Ireland or Scotland to England will be double that, at £124 per person.
EasyJet and other carriers obviously have a vested interest in raising vociferous concerns at these proposals, but it is an issue which strikes a chord with many holidaymakers who are feeling the strain of rising costs in many other areas. What irks many is not just that the flight taxes are being raised but also the discrepancy between higher taxes for short haul leisure flights and tax breaks for long haul business flights, with cuts of up to £56 per person for those flying business class.
On the face of it, it certainly seems those who can least afford it are being hit the hardest and it is the unfairness of it all which forms the focus for easyJet Chief Executive, Caroline McCall, who explains: ‘Family holidays will be clobbered by the government…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?’ Families looking to get away on a UK break should certainly weigh up their options for their travel requirements and perhaps the best option is to look closer to home and avoid air travel altogether in the present climate.
Image: Plane by nathanmac87, on Flickr