Leading travel organisations have welcomed the recent announcement by the Treasury that the Autumn Statement will take place on November 29, as an opportunity to focus the industry's efforts to challenge the government's planned rise in Air Passenger Duty (APD).

The Chancellor, George Osborne MP, is widely expected to use the statement to confirm a double-inflation APD rise ahead of the 2012 Budget and detail how APD will be reformed following a consultation earlier this year. Leading voices in the travel industry have responded, saying the sector has 11 weeks to make its opposition heard 'loud and clear'.

In March this year leading names in the UK travel and tourism industry united for the first time behind a campaign calling for a 'Fair Tax on Flying' from the government. The campaign has been calling on the government to halt any further rises in aviation tax, with revenue from APD having increased by 2,600% since it was first introduced in 1994. The Fair on Flying Campaign has also called for reform in the way the tax is structured addressing concerns about issues ranging from the way Premium Economy seats are taxed to how destination taxation bands are drawn up. It is expected that the Treasury will announce the new revised APD regime in the Autumn Statement.

ABTA's head of public affairs, Luke Pollard, said: "This year £2.2billion of holidaymakers' and business travellers' money will pour into the Treasury's coffers. The Government has stated that it intends to raise the tax by a further £1.4billion in just four years' time. With just 11 weeks to go before the Chancellor makes up his mind about future APD rises, the industry must seize this opportunity to make our voice loud and clear: a double-inflation APD rise will damage the economy and we have to fight it together."

The Fair Tax on Flying alliance consists of more than 30 leading travel organisations including airlines, airports, trade associations and destinations. The campaign has created a dedicated Facebook page at www.facebook.com/afairtaxonflying to raise awareness of the tax and allow consumers to register their views.

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