Airline News - Latin America / Caribbean.

 
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New York, Delray Beach (AirGuide - Airline News Latin America / Caribbean) Jul 10, 2011

Cheapflights UK Air Passenger Duty Hits Travel From North America and to Caribbean. Cheapflights Media Ltd, the international media network providing consumers with different ways to find low cost travel since 1996, has been a consistent critic of the UK's regressive Air Passenger Duty (APD) -- now the highest such aviation travel tax in the world. Cheapflights has just analysed traffic search patterns for the first six months (H1) of 2009, 2010 and 2011 for searches for Barbados, Jamaica and Mexico and other long-haul destinations. It also analysed its North American traffic searching for London flights for the same periods to indicate how APD may have affected inbound tourism. The figures have to be viewed in the context of the post-recession recovery in global passenger numbers over the period, especially in 2010 when a post-recession "bounce" occurred and passenger traffic increased by an above trend of 8.2% (IATA). The Government has just completed a consultation period in response to representations by Caribbean governments, the Caribbean Tourist Organisation and also by UK aviation and travel companies about the negative effects the high level of taxation is having. Introduced in 1994 and raised in 2007 it remained at a sustainable level until November 2009; APD was then changed to a much higher four mileage-band based tax for economy seats and an even higher four-band tax for premium seat passengers including premium economy. It was raised even higher in November 2010, costing a family of four travelling economy to the Caribbean APD of [pounds sterling]300. Following the 2010 increase, APD had risen a massive 275% above pre-2007 rates for all cabin classes to the Caribbean. Apart from affecting tourism-dependent economies, such as the Caribbean in general, the mileage bands also created unfair anomalies; for example APD is more expensive when flying to Jamaica than to Hawaii. John Barrington-Carver,...

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