UK business travellers are being hit with taxes of more than £325 million compared to Italy and France, £275 million compared to Germany and £450 million compared to the Republic of Ireland as a result of the UK’s air passenger duty rates (APD).
The study found that when compared to the EU average rate of APD, business travellers flying from the UK are being faced with an additional £400 million tax per year.
Karen Dee, campaign spokesperson at A Fair Tax on Flying, said: “If the Chancellor wants to signal that Britain is truly open for Business as Brexit looms, what better way than cutting this tax on trade by at least 50% to bring us in line with the next highest of our European trading rivals, Germany.”
Dee added that at present the UK’s APD is among the highest tax of its kind in the world and also the highest in the EU by a “significant margin”.
“It puts the UK economy at a severe competitive disadvantage in the very markets we need to trade with post Brexit when compared to our European neighbours.
"No matter which EU country you compare us to, the result is the same, UK businesses are being unfairly punished,” said Dee.
The figures from the research also revealed that short-haul business travellers flying from the UK pay more than £115 million in tax than if French rates applied.
For UK long-haul business travellers, the situation is “even more severe”, with an extra tax burden of £220 million compared to French levels.
Dee added: “A cut of at least 50% will reduce the tax burden on UK businesses seeking to maintain and expand new markets overseas, allow our businesses to compete on a level playing field and make the UK more attractive to businesses wishing to visit and invest here.”