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UK government could place air travel beyond reach of ordinary families

The UK government is in danger of placing air travel beyond the means of ordinary British families if proposed air passenger duty hikes are implemented, according to the British Airline Pilots Association. The airlines have long been a target for the UK authorities and with air tax set to increase by a minimum of 20% in the UK over the next two years (with longer flights seeing increases in excess of 100%) many believe this is too much too soon.

This announcement by the British Airline Pilots Association comes on the day Ryanair withdrew 16 of its 40 air planes from its UK Stanstead base and decided to place these in countries which have a more airline friendly tax regime. Whether this move will be replicated among other low-cost airlines remains to be seen but with margins cut to the bone there is every need to cut costs in the short, medium and longer term.

Many airline companies are furious that the UK government has for many years encouraged airlines to increase investment, build new airports and ultimately increase the number of passengers travelling by air in the UK. Then, once this significant investment had been completed, the UK government now appears to have turned and is now looking to take an ever-growing chunk of taxable income from the airline companies.

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