HACAN backs Frequent Flyers Levy to replace Air Passenger Duty as “both green and equitable”

Press Release

 21st June 2015 for immediate use

 HACAN backs Frequent Flyers Levy to replace Air Passenger Duty as “both green and equitable”

Campaign group HACAN has given its backing to the plan for a Frequent Flyers Levy to replace Air Passengers Duty.  The proposal, released this weekend (1) and based on reports from the New Economics Foundation and CE Delft (2), suggests that each person is given one tax-free flight a year (if they want to take it) but that the tax rises with every subsequent flight taken (3).

Just days before the Airports Commission is due to publish its recommendation on whether a new runway should be built at Heathrow or Gatwick, the New Economics Foundation report suggests that no new runways would be needed if a Frequent Flyers Levy was introduced.  The growth in aviation would be curbed sufficiently to allow existing runways to cope with future demand.

The backers of the Frequent Flyers Levy argue that 85% of the British public would benefit from it:  Last year:

  • 52% of us took no flights
  • 22% took one flight
  • 11% took 2 flights
  • Less than 15% of people took 3 or more flights

15% of people took 70% of flights.  These are the people identified as the frequent flyers. Their defining characteristics are that they earn more than £115,000 a year and have a second home abroad. Most of them come from the City of London, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Surrey.  And their most popular destination is tax havens!  These are predominately not business flights.  Business travel by the UK population is declining.  It is now just 12% of all flights.  It is leisure travel, particularly by the frequent flyers, which has soared.

Work commissioned from the Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC) found that over 50% preferred the Frequent Flyers Levy to Air Passenger Duty

HACAN chair John Stewart said, “The beauty of this proposal is that it ticks both the equity and green boxes. It is a way of controlling the growth of aviation but still allowing ordinary families a holiday in the sun.”

Organisations backing the Frequent Flyers Levy include the Campaign for Better Transport the New Economics Foundation, the Tax Justice Network, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.


 Notes for Editors: 

 (1). http://gu.com/p/4axmn/stw 

(2).  The New Economics Report covering the economics: FFL FINAL DRAFT in template_updated  and the CE Delft report covering the implementation:  Proposal for a Frequent Flyer Levy unformatted_June 5th

(3). More information Frequent Flyers Levy Briefing    or http://blog.afreeride.org/faqs/

For further information:

John Stewart on 0207 737 6641 or 07957385650