Taxes in Europe Database v2
Finance Act 1994, as amended by subsequent finance acts.
UK (except for certain exempt airports that are listed below)
Any aircraft operator that operates a chargeable aircraft carrying chargeable passengers from UK airports.
The carriage, from a UK airport, of chargeable passengers on chargeable aircraft. The duty being due at the point the flight takes off, irrespective of when the ticket was booked or purchased.
Aircraft certified (by the UK Civil Aviation Authority or equivalent body in other countries) as having an authorised take off weight of less than 5.7 tonnes.
Persons not defined (by the act) as passengers. These are: flight crew, cabin attendants, employees escorting passengers or goods, employees (of the aircraft operator) undertaking repair, maintenance, safety or security work and employees ensuring the hygienic preparation and handling of food and drink. These persons are also exempt if they carry out the above duties within 72 hours of a chargeable flight ending or if they begin a return journey within 72 hours after performing any of the above duties provided that they are returning to base (the place where they are normally stationed or from where they normally operate). The category of airline employees above are not chargeable for duty when they are engaged in duties on a flight. However, when travelling as passengers i.e. they are not working on that flight, they are liable to duty.
Young children under the age of two years who are not allocated a separate seat before boarding the aircraft.
Transit passengers - when an aircraft makes a stop "en route" and passengers do not change aircraft then no additional duty becomes due for the leg of the journey immediately after the stop.
Connecting passengers on the second or subsequent flight of a journey provided that the two flights in question are connected according to the rules of the Connected Flights Order.
Short pleasure flights not exceeding 60 minutes duration and which begin and end at the same airport.
Flights departing from the following airports in the Scottish Highlands and Islands: Barra; Benbecula; Campbeltown; Inverness, Islay; Kirkwall; Stornoway; Sumburgh; Tiree; Wick
Crown bodies where the Crown is the operator of the aircraft. (Note - Crown bodies are exempted only by virtue of the fact that they are not "Air Transport Undertakings" and do not carry passengers for reward. Airlines who move personnel on behalf of Crown bodies are liable for duty as these personnel are not exempt.)
Overseas military forces and NATO military headquarters and agencies personnel - concession applies to wet charters and individual travel, for official purposes, on normal scheduled or charter flights ands is dependent on contract/certificate from authorised signatory.
The tax is levied at eight different rates depending on the distance and class of travel
All countries are divided into four distance bands based on the distance between London and the capital city of that respective country/territory. The reduced rates below are charged on those passengers travelling in the lowest class of travel on that flight and are the rates as at 1st january 2015.
Band A: GBP 13 – for flights beginning in the UK and ending in the UK or any other country/territory for which the capital city is within 2000 miles of London.
Band B: GBP 69 – for flights beginning in the UK and ending in any country/territory for which the capital city is between 2001 and 4000 miles from London.
Band C: GBP 53 – for flights beginning in the UK and ending in any country/territory for which the capital city is between 4001 and 6000 miles from London.
Band D: GBP 74 – for flights beginning in the UK and ending in any other destination in the world.
An exception to this structure is any passengers flying directly from a Northern Ireland airport to any destination in Bands B, C or D. These passengers will only be liable to pay the prevailing Band A rate.
All passengers travelling in any other class of travel are charged the standard rate of duty, which is equal to twice the respective reduced rate. However if a flight only has one class of travel, then passengers will only be liable to the reduced rate of duty if the seat pitch is less than 1.016metres (40 inches).
Any passengers travelling in an aircraft weighing over 20 tonnes but with less than 19 seats on board are charged a higher rate of duty which is set at twice the standard rate for the relevant band.
Payment of duty is required on a monthly basis: by the 22nd day immediately following the accounting period to which the remittance relates for payments made by cash, cheque or postal order; and by the 29th day immediately following the accounting period to which the remittance relates for payments made by direct debit or credit transfer.
HM Revenue & Customs