Flights could get cheaper as Rishi Sunak urged to scrap air passenger duty

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The cost of plane tickets could be slashed in a bid to get Brits flying again.

As many as 24 Tory MPs have reportedly asked Rishi Sunak to suspend air passenger duty until the end of summer 2021.

This would make travel cheaper for holidaymakers, who often take on the cost imposed on airlines.

The charge makes short-haul tickets up to £13 more expensive and adds £78 to long-haul fares.

But in good news for travel fans, it seems the Chancellor is open to putting a halt on the tax.

In a statement issued by the Treasury last night (September 6), a spokesperson said there will be a “consultation” on the matter.

“The Chancellor has announced that there will be a consultation on aviation tax reform”, they said.

“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.”

York Aviation, a research consultancy used by Ministers, estimates scrapping the duty could drum up £8billion for the economy.

Airlines also believe it would help them to survive through the coronavirus crisis.

Andrew Flintham, managing director of Tui UK and Ireland, said air passenger duty needs to be cut immediately as the industry is “on its knees”.

He added: “We really need the Government to step in and help us.”

These thoughts are echoed by Mark Tanzer, chief executive of UK travel agent association ABTA.

He said: “While we welcome the government’s commitment to review air passenger duty in relation to domestic connectivity, we strongly urge the government to do this as part of a wider reform process, acting as the catalyst for constructive discussions between industry and government about a more comprehensive overhaul of the structure of APD."

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