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UK departure tax increase

The UK departure tax - known as APD or Air Passenger Duty - will increase dramatically over the next two years, adding significantly to the cost of air travel for everyone who departs from a UK airport, including New Zealanders returning home.

The tax is collected as part of your overall air ticket when you purchase it and not paid directly at the airport. It will result in increased return air fares to the UK from New Zealand.

The APD is based on geographical bands based on distance from London to the capital city of the destination country.

Each band has two rates of tax, one for standard class of travel (economy) and one (double the rate) for other classes including Premium Economy, Business and First.

Departing passengers are already paying APD as part of their ticket price - currently it is charged at £40 (around NZ$107) per person for economy class travel to New Zealand and £80 (NZ$214) for higher classes. Children pay the same amount, except for infants under two years who are exempt.

From 1 November 2009 the tax amount for a UK/New Zealand flight will increase to £55 (NZ$148) for Economy and £110 (NZ$296) for higher classes.

From 1 November 2010 the tax amount will increase again to £85 (NZ$230) for Economy and £170 (NZ$460) for higher classes.

If you are flying from the UK to another destination, such as one in Europe or North America, then a lower rate of tax may apply. Full details of the differing rates per destination can be found here.