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Flybe paying Government’s Airport Departure Tax for passengers

5 April 2013

Leading regional airline highlights unfairness of Air Passenger Duty by reducing one way fares by the equivalent amount on 116 routes

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, will pay the Government’s Air Passenger Duty departure tax on behalf of customers making new bookings online between Friday 5th and Tuesday 9th April across 116 routes* effective for travel between 27th October 2013 and 25th October 2014. This limited time ‘tax rebate’ effectively lowers one way fares by £13, and by £26 on return UK domestic fares.

The move follows last month’s Budget where the Chancellor failed to cut the UK’s air taxes, leaving them the highest in Europe. By giving passengers an equivalent ‘tax rebate’, Flybe is highlighting just how much APD adds to the cost of flying in the  UK,  indicating how punitive the tax is not only to those travelling for leisure but also for those conducting business so necessary to the country’s economic success and development. Flybe will be presenting a petition to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling upon him to introduce a fair deal for UK domestic aviation and is asking customers to show their support by signing the petition at

It is just another move the airline is taking in continuing to raise public awareness of the punitive APD departure tax that:

  • Is a £13 tax that must be paid by all passengers departing a UK airport on a domestic or European flight
  • Hits those travelling on a return flight within the UK particularly hard as they have to pay APD not just once, but twice = £26 per passenger. In reality, this means that a passenger travelling on a return ticket between Manchester and Southampton (total 366 miles) not only has to pay £13 APD when departing Manchester, but also another £13 APD when departing on the return part of their journey from Southampton.  This adds an extra £26 to the total cost of their return ticket.Compare this to those passengers travelling abroad with a return ticket from Manchester to Cyprus (total 4,030 miles) who only need to pay £13, the return journey being exempt from UK APD.
  • Has increased by a massive 160% since 2007 when it was just £5 per passenger per flight
  • Is the highest of its kind in Europe
  • Is a direct charge collected by airlines on behalf of the Government.

Andrew Strong, Managing Director Flybe UK comments: “The entire aviation industry was disappointed that, in the face of compelling evidence, the Chancellor did nothing in last month’s budget to lower UK APD which remains the highest in Europe. The Government penalises domestic passengers who have to pay double the tax, while those flying abroad pay just once because APD is a departure tax from a UK airport and that can’t be fair. 

 “Many UK travellers prefer to fly rather than use any other means of transport and in many cases, often have no access to convenient or affordable options. This is why we are hoping that our limited time ‘tax rebate’ will not only help people to save money but also raise awareness of just how much this ‘double dip’ tax is costing them.

“Flybe operates more domestic flights than any other airline in the UK and its services help drive the economies of the UK regions, On behalf of our passengers, we vow to continue putting pressure on the Government to re-consider this punitive and unfair tax."

APD Petition

Flybe is proud to operate more domestic flights than any other airline. Our services help drive the economies of the UK regions at a time when they need all the help they can get...

However, passengers departing UK airports continue to pay the highest levels of tax in Europe and we’d like your help to tell the government that this is not right. Air Passenger Duty (APD) – a tax charged on all passengers departing a UK airport – was first introduced in 1994 with a £5 rate for flights within the UK/EU and £10 elsewhere. Since then, it has seen an increase of 160% since 2007, with a one-way domestic journey now being taxed at £13 per passenger.

The tax is particularly punitive for UK domestic passengers as they have to pay on both legs of their journey because APD is a departure tax. What that means is someone travelling between say, Belfast and Manchester, Edinburgh and Southampton or Exeter and Newcastle get stung twice by the taxman - £26 in government tax.

We don’t think that’s fair and that’s why Flybe, will be presenting a petition to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling upon him to introduce a fair deal for UK domestic aviation. If you think the same as us, you can show your support by signing the petition below.


"We the undersigned call upon the Chancellor to bring to an end the outrageous and punitive practice of double taxation for UK domestic air travel. Air Passenger Duty on domestic flights has risen from £5 in 2007 to £13 and hits UK regional passengers hardest because they pay both ways on a return journey. That’s bad for passengers, bad for jobs, constrains growth and puts our hard-pressed regional economies at a disadvantage at a time when they need all the support they can get."


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