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Expats set to avoid long-haul flights

A growing number of British expats could take short-haul trips out of the UK to avoid being penalised by the introduction of Air Passenger Duty, it has been claimed.

Many expats may choose to save some money by taking a short-haul flight to a nearby location and transferring onto another flight in an effort to avoid the tax.

The Air Transport Users Council (AUC) has argued that the duty is an unfair tax on people who choose to travel direct to long-haul destinations.

James Fremantle, industry affairs manager at the AUC, said: "There has certainly been an argument put forward that the new levels of Air Passenger Duty when they come in will penalise long-haul direct services more than services via Europe."

However, he added that expats could benefit if the new charge results in airlines offering new lower deals to combat the tax’s introduction.

"It may be that the airlines will use it as a way to get the government to reconsider its proposal," he said.

A recent poll from the British Airline Pilots’ Association found that 90 per cent of people aged 16 to 64 would fly via Amsterdam to long haul destinations to avoid the new duty.

Paul Jarvis
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