UK to scrap air passenger duty for children from May 2015

The UK Government has announced that it will scrap air passenger duty (APD) for children under 12 flying in economy class from May 2015, and for all children under the age of 16 in 2016.

The announcement was made by chancellor George Osborne while he was presenting the autumn statement in the parliament.

APD is levied on departing flights and can range from £13 a passenger for short-haul flights to £97 for longer flights departing from the UK.

"With opponents frequently citing the cumulative tax bill for a family of four, eliminating the tax for under-12s will reduce the worst headline figures."

The Guardian reported: "With opponents frequently citing the cumulative tax bill for a family of four, eliminating the tax for under-12s will reduce the worst headline figures. It will, for example, reduce by £142 the tax for a family with two young children travelling to the US on holiday.

"The chancellor had already promised to cut the very highest band of tax on long-haul flights from next year, limiting the levy to £71 per passenger worldwide from 2015."

The Telegraph quoted CEO of easyJet Carolyn McCall as saying: "Abolishing APD would boost the UK economy and pay for itself by increasing revenues from other sources.

"Research by PwC revealed that the GDP boost to the UK economy would amount to at least £16bn in the first three years and result in almost 60,000 extra jobs in the UK over the longer term."

Apart from scrapping the APD, the chancellor has also called on airlines to decrease fuel surcharges in view of falling oil prices.