Main content
13th June 2011

Consumer Council welcomes Northern Ireland Affairs Committee inquiry into Air Passenger Duty

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has announced its intention to conduct an inquiry into the issue of Air Passenger Duty (APD) and how this impacts on Northern Ireland (NI) consumers. A review of APD is currently out for consultation by HM Treasury(1).

Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council said:  “We are pleased the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee is focusing on a key issue for Northern Ireland consumers.  The Consumer Council has been clear in demonstrating the impact APD is having on NI passengers.  We issued a briefing paper to the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee in February 2011 and gave evidence to the Regional Development Committee in June 2011.

Northern Ireland’s geographic location means consumers are more reliant on air travel compared to their counterparts in GB.  The Consumer Council is concerned that high rates of APD negatively affect NI consumers.  Increasing rates of APD for NI airports could put at risk the connectivity and routes available from NI airports.  This is especially important given that the government in the Republic of Ireland has outlined plans to abolish Air Travel Tax (ATT), which already stands much lower at €3 compared to rates in NI of £12 - 60.  It is reassuring to see the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee recognising the need to investigate the issue of APD further.”


[1] HM Treasury “Reform of Air Passenger Duty”.  Consultation opened 30 March 2011 and closes 17 June 2011


Notes to Editors

APD is levied on journeys where the initial flight departs from a UK airport and the charge is based on the final destination of the flight. For example, a passenger travelling return from Belfast City to Heathrow will be charged £24, i.e. £12 per leg.

The current rates of APD are shown below:

APD BandEconomy ClassBusiness/First classRepublicof IrelandATT

A (0 – 2000 miles)

e.g. flights to UK and Europe


B (2001 – 4000 miles)

e.g. flights to USA


C (4001 – 6000 miles)

e.g. flights to Thailand


D (over 6000 miles)

e.g. flights to Australia




  1. Consumer Council media contact: Irene Overend, telephone, 028 9067 4816 or e-mail,  
  2. The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about buses, trains, planes, ferries, natural gas, electricity, coal and water.
  3. For more information, visit our website at