Tax rise adds £450m to 2011 holiday bill

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The Independent Online

Next month's increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD) will add £450m to the cost of holidays in 2011, according to Virgin Atlantic. The third increase in as many years will add £240 to the cost of a four-person holiday to the US, a 33 per cent rise from 2009.

Virgin Atlantic's chief commercial officer, Julie Southern, said: "With passengers now being asked to pay up to 10 times more tax since APD's introduction, the annual familyholiday will become unaffordablefor many."

The plan to raise APD – outlined by the Labour chancellor Alistair Darling in his March Budget and retained by the incoming Coalition Chancellor, George Osborne – have caused consternation across the travel industry.

Earlier this month, British Airways chief executive, Willie Walsh, branded the tax "a disgrace".