What is Air Passenger Duty (APD)

It’s essentially a departure tax that was introduced in 1994 as a tax to pay for the environmental costs of air travel. APD is what the UK government charges for every chargeable passenger departing from the UK to anywhere in the world.

Who is liable

APD is levied against each adult passenger on every flight departing from the United Kingdom (all flights aboard aircraft of 5.7 tonnes and above). Most operators need to register with HMRC unless they operate 12 or fewer qualifying flights a year or have an annual APD liability of less than £5,000.

Overseas operators

If you are an operator and your business is based outside of the UK and exceeds any of the above thresholds, you must appoint a fiscal representative to act on your behalf. Travion can assist either as a fiscal representative or on a flight by flight basis.

Exemptions from APD

  • Changing flights in the UK (time between flights is less than 24 hours)

  • Children under the age of 16 on the day of travel

  • Passengers departing from the Scottish Highlands and Islands region

  • People engaged in duties on a flight (e.g. flight attendants, cabin crew or escorting people)

  • When an aircraft makes a stop ‘en route’ and passengers don’t change aircraft

  • Pleasure flights (60 minutes and less) which begin and end at the same airport

  • Emergency flights, public service flights, diverted flights, NATO flights

How much you need to pay

The rate is determined by two things:

1. The class you are travelling in


Reduced rate

  • For the lowest class of travel available on the plane for seat pitch less than 1.016 m (40″)

Standard rate

  • For any other class of travel or where the seat pitch is more than 1.016 m  (40″)

Higher rate

  • For travel in planes of 20 tonnes or more equipped to carry fewer than 19 passengers

2. How far you travel from London


Countries are split into 2 bands:

Band A

  • The destination country’s capital city is between 0 to 2,000 miles from London

Band B

  • The destination country’s capital city is over 2,000 miles from London

HMRC rates from 1 April 2020

For flights departing from the UK

Destination bands Reduced rate Standard rate Higher rate
Band A £ 13 £ 26 £ 78
Band B £ 80 £ 176 £ 528

Travion will give you peace of mind

The Travion APD team has the in-depth knowledge and experience with all the necessary HMRC procedures and can assist either as a fiscal representative or on a flight by flight basis. We will ensure that each of your flights is properly documented and the appropriate fee paid on your behalf. You will stay in compliance and not run afoul of this legal requirement and fiscal responsibility.

If you need more clarification or are interested in our assistance with APD, please contact our APD Team:

Travion APD Team