26 January 2011

Gavin Shuker (Luton South, Labour): Asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) for what reason premium economy aircraft seats are liable for the same rate of air passenger duty as business and first class aircraft seats;

 (2) what recent representations he has received from airlines on the rate of duty levied on premium economy seats; and if he will assess the effect on levying such duty at a higher rate on the propensity of airlines to offer premium economy seats in future.

 Justine Greening (Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Conservative): Seats on an aircraft only qualify for the reduced rate of air passenger duty (APD) if they are the lowest class of travel and have a seat pitch that does not exceed 40 inches. This criterion applies irrespective of how the seat is marketed.

 Since the Budget in June, the Government have met a number of stakeholders to discuss APD. The Government will explore changes to the aviation tax system and major changes will be subject to consultation.

 Sourced from Dehavilland