THE UK government is under pressure to scrap Air Passenger Duty (ADP) for a year to encourage Brits to travel abroad, with the travel industry decimated by travel bans and last-minute quarantine restrictions.
MPs have called for the pause of ADP which could save Brits as much as £78 each on their holidays.
Air Passenger Duty, a tax on all flights from UK airports, is paid for by passengers which is included in the ticket price.
The cost depends on the length of travel, ranging from £13 on short-haul flights and £78 to long-haul flights – and scrapping it could bring £8billion to the UK economy, according to research consultancy York Aviation.
More than 20 MPs have called for it to be stopped until next summer to encourage travel abroad.
According to the Mail Online, the Treasury may make changes to ADP in the autumn budget: “The Chancellor has announced that there will be a consultation on aviation tax reform.
“As part of this, the Government will consider the case for changing the air passenger duty (APD) treatment of domestic flights, such as reintroducing a return leg exemption, and for increasing the number of international distance bands.”
The travel industry has taken a massive hit due to the pandemic, leading to mass redundancies.
Rolls-Royce, which makes engines for aircrafts, is set to axe 3,000 employees while popular tour operator TUI has warned of 8,000 job losses globally.
Virgin Atlantic, meanwhile, announced plans to cut 1,150 jobs on Friday.
British Airways’ caterer Do&Co is axing 2,134 staff, leaving just 300 workers to make in-flight meals, while Heathrow Airport is asking 2,500 workers to accept hefty pay cuts or half may lose their jobs.
Last-minute quarantine restrictions enforced by the UK government have also been slammed for harming the travel industry, due to the uncertainty surrounding holidays abroad.
Last week, travel restrictions were introduced for Portugal and Greece by Scotland and Wales, while France, Spain, Croatia and Malta have been on the UK quarantine list for weeks.
Businesses and MPs have warned Boris Johnson of the colossal damage done to the travel sector by the quarantine policy, instead suggesting it be slashed from 14 days to just eight days.
The Mail on Sunday reports that the officials are looking at the option of testing people for the virus eight days after they arrive into the country.
However, government sources stressed to the paper that no decision has yet been taken.
In a letter to the prime minister, the bosses of the UK’s 20 biggest airports said that “irreparable damage” would be done to the UK’s economy and aviation sector if current quarantine requirements remain in place.
They said that £4billion worth of revenue had already been lost and that it could be four years before air travel rebounds to its pre-pandemic levels.
The letter comes after Huw Merriman, chair of parliament’s transport select committee, said that a failure to introduce airport testing would mean “further barriers to travel.”