[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Aviation tax switches to planes
Heathrow Airport
Passenger duty will now be replaced with a tax on planes
Air taxes will be switched from individual passengers to airline flights to encourage more efficient use of planes.

The new tax will take effect from November 2009.

Chancellor Alistair Darling said the measure would help tackle climate change, one of the "two great challenges for this generation".

"I propose that aviation makes a greater contribution in respect of its environmental impact," he said.

The government is also launching a consultation on how to link the tax to the distance the flight is travelling.

"A tax that penalises airlines for flying half-empty planes makes a lot of sense, but the Government's support for the unrestrained expansion of UK airports seriously undermines its credibility," said John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace.

Easyjet warned the government not to increase the overall levels of tax from airline passengers but accepted the need for reform.

"A tax that penalises families but excludes private jets and charges passengers travelling to Marrakech the same as those travelling to Melbourne, is just plain wrong," said Andy Harrison, chief executive of Easyjet.

However, Ryanair criticised the announcement.

"This is just another tax on ordinary passengers from Government ministers swanning around on private aircraft," the company said in a statement.



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific