THE Association of British Travel Agents has said it is “disappointed” by the government's failure to scrap increases in Air Passenger Duty planned for November in Tuesday's Budget.

Chief executive Mark Tanzer said the association would now keep up the pressure on the Treasury and was planning more meetings with Putney MP Justine Greening, who is leading the department on aviation taxes.

Abta said the chancellor George Osborne's failure to stop the increases meant that revenue from the tax would increase from £1.9 bn this year to £3.8 bn in 2015-16.

Tanzer said: “While we broadly welcome the proposed switch from air passenger duty to per plane duty, it is essential that the levels and the mechanisms are set correctly so that ordinary people are not taxed out of flying. We have already held a meeting with Justine Greening and we will ensure that we continue to meet with her team to fully brief them on our sector.” He added: “Tax on aviation – through air passenger duty – in this country has risen disproportionately over the past five years. We all know that George Osborne has to balance the books, but to maximise the tax take on aviation, they must set it at a level where people can still afford to fly - not tax people out of the skies.”

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