Air passenger duty exemption now applies to under 16s

Children under 16 will join under 12s in no longer having to pay Air Passenger Duty in economy class.

Families planning an Easter break will get a boost today when the cost of their foreign holidays are slashed as children under 16 will join under 12s in being exempt from paying Air Passenger Duty (APD) in economy class.

This change, which was announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the Autumn Statement 2014 and comes into effect from 1 March, would offer a saving of £142 to a family with two children under 16 travelling to long-haul destinations such as Florida, and £26 off a holiday in Europe.

The change will also act as a boost to international tourism – worth more than £26 billion a year to the UK economy. Foreign visitors will also see the benefit and with people from Australia and the USA being some of the UK’s most popular visitors, it is hoped the potential savings will prove an incentive for even more families from far-flung countries to visit the UK.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Damian Hinds said:

This government is pleased to make travel easier and more affordable for working families. Aviation plays a key role in our economy and in the midst of a volatile economic outlook it is crucial we help families where we can. As passengers flying to the UK from abroad will also see the benefit of this exemption I hope it proves an incentive to families abroad to enjoy this country’s own world-leading tourism industry.

According to the latest ONS Travel Trends statistics, the USA is the third most visited country for UK residents. With average spend per day by Brits continuing to be the highest for trips to North America at £82, the APD saving for long-haul flights will effectively pay for almost two days of a two child family’s holiday.

The top 5 countries visited by UK residents have remained consistent since 2010. Spain continues to top the list in 2014 at 12.2 million visits, a 5.4% increase from 2013. Residents of the USA were the third most popular visitors to the UK, increasing by 7.1% to 3 million.

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