Ryanair, the Ireland-based low fares airline, has confirmed that it will refund the £13 UK travel tax for all children aged under-12 who check-in on flights departing the UK from May 1, 2015 earlier than required.
The announcement comes after the decision by UK Chancellor George Osborne to abolish children’s APD starting from May 1, 2015.
However, Ryanair went further to add that it will refund children’s APD on UK flights for the six weeks from March 27, 2015. The airline also urged the UK Government to abolish APD, enabling UK tourism to return to growth.
Refunding the UK APD for kids over the Easter Holiday period is expected to cost Ryanair up to GBP2m. The move – along with Ryanair’s ‘Family Extra’ service – will allow children to fly from the UK tax free for the holidays.
Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs, said: ‘Ryanair welcomes Chancellor Osborne’s decision to scrap APD for children under-12 on flights departing the UK from 1st May 2015. To ensure even greater savings for the millions of UK families flying Ryanair at Easter, Ryanair will refund APD for all children who check in on flights departing the UK from 27th March 2015 onwards. Families flying Ryanair already enjoy the lowest fares and fantastic discounts with our ‘Family Extra’ service and this will ensure even more UK families make even greater savings next Easter flying with Ryanair.
While we welcome this partial reduction in APD, we call on the UK Government to abolish APD, and allow UK tourism to return to growth and become competitive once more. Tourist traffic in Ireland has risen by almost 10% since APD was abolished in April, with the VAT received from the additional tourist spend far exceeding the loss of APD. The UK should follow suit and axe the tax for all.’
The refund is the latest in a series of customer experience improvements under Ryanair’s ‘Always Getting Better’ programme, which includes a new website, a new mobile app, and the new ‘Family Extra’ and ‘Business Plus’ services.
Separately, Ryanair said that it will open its fourth Portuguese base in the Azores from April 2015 with one based aircraft and three new routes to London Stansted, Lisbon and Porto.