With the latest phase of increases in Air Passenger Duty (APD) now in effect, Thomas Cook UK & Ireland has launched a ‘Beat The Taxman’ promotion, which offers holidaymakers a guaranteed saving of £75 per person off any long-haul holiday booked by December 16 for travel after May 1, 2011.The increases, imposed by the Government, see holidaymakers paying 50% more in APD to travel to popular long-haul destinations including the Caribbean, Kenya, India and Mexico. Following on from a rise last year, Economy cabin tax to these destinations has increased from £50 to £75 per passenger, and Premium cabins from £100 to £150.
The company's group CEO, Manny Fontenla-Novoa, said: “We have, and will continue to, strenuously voice our disappointment to the Government that is has continued with its plans to increase APD.
“In either its current form of a per passenger duty, or the per aircraft option being discussed by the coalition Government, there is no evidence of this tax having any environmental benefit and we will continue to lobby on behalf of our holidaymakers.
“Through our ‘Beat the Taxman’ promotion we hope to support holidaymakers’ disapproval of these new charges that they will now incur."
As a result of the new APD charges, the operator is also removing the Premium Seat option from all its outbound flights from May next year – the option remains for inbound long-haul flights for £50 per person. The Premium seat cabin on flights from the UK will be included in the normal seat allocation process when holidaymakers check in at the airport.
Fontenla-Novoa said: “It’s ridiculous to think that holidaymakers travelling in Premium seats on one of our long-haul charter flights will have to pay the same APD fee as those flying in First Class on a scheduled flight – so we’ve removed this cost from their holidays.”