Magazine article Marketing

Travel Brands Fight Rise in Air Passenger Duty

Magazine article Marketing

Travel Brands Fight Rise in Air Passenger Duty

Article excerpt

Travel companies are looking to combat the government's rise in Air Passenger Duty (APD) this week with a series of marketing and PR campaigns.

On 1 November, APD rose by up to 50%, despite opposition from the travel industry.

To highlight the situation, tour operator Thomas Cook has launched a campaign called 'Beat the Taxman', in which it promises to pay the charge for its customers. The promotion will be carried across brochures and in-store.

Thomas Cook claimed it would save passengers up to pounds 75 on long-haul flights booked between now and 16 December, for flights departing after May 2011.

The brand is advertising the offer for its Band B and Band C destinations the Caribbean, Mexico, Kenya, Florida, Las Vegas and India.

The company also said that from May, it will no longer offer premium-economy seats on outbound flights to its Band B and Band C destinations, although the seats will be available for inbound long-haul flights, for an extra charge of pounds 50.

'It's ridiculous that holidaymakers travelling in premium seats on one of our long-haul charter flights will have to pay the same APD as those flying first class on a scheduled flight, so we've removed this cost from their holidays,' said Thomas Cook chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa.

Airlines such as British Airways have been lobbying the government about the rise in APD, but have not offered to pay the tax themselves.

Andrew Crawley, director of sales and marketing at BA, told Marketing at last month's BTA travel conference, that he wanted to see a cap on APD until 2012. …

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