Air Passenger Duty (APD) on private jet flights

From 1 April 2013, Air Passenger Duty (APD) will be applied to passengers of private jets and other smaller aircraft with an authorised take off weight of 5.7 tonnes or more, taking off from a UK airport. The tax will be calculated and paid by the aircraft’s operator, with the cost added to the charter price charged to the customer.

Citation Mustang - APD exempt

Private jet flights will be subject to APD at the same rate as a business or first class airline seat (called ‘Standard Rate’) and the tax will be calculated per passenger and in bands, according to the distance of the journey.

APD will apply to the majority of private jet flights in small or medium sized aircraft – just a small proportion of flights in light jets, such as a Citation Mustang at 3.9 tonnes, scrape in at under the weight limit.

Flights from Scottish Highlands and Islands airports are not subject to APD, regardless of their weight.

Challenger 300 - Higher rate of APD

A further ‘Higher Rate’ band, which applies to flights of 20 tonnes or more with less than 19 passengers, will impact flights on larger private jets such as the Challenger 300.

This higher rate will apply APD per passenger at double the Standard Rate.

To give an example of how the tax will impact the private jet user, let’s consider a typical European flight in a Citation XL medium jet from London to Paris with a typical payload of 3 passengers.

The tax would be £26 per person, so a total of £78 for the journey. For a typical charter cost of £5,300 this adds 1.5% to the price.

Citation Excel - Standard rate of APD

For the Higher Rate the tax will range from £52 per passenger on a short flight, to £376 per passenger on a long haul flight of over 6,000 miles.

HMRC have produced detailed guidance notes for aircraft operators, most of whom will need to register and declare their APD  liability monthly (smaller operators will be able to use something called the Occasional Operator Scheme and make their payments on an ad hoc basis).

Here are the new bands of APD, which apply to both airline and private jet flights. The reduced rate of APD applies to economy airline seats:

Air Passenger Duty: £ per passenger payable from 1 April 2013

Miles from UK Reduced rate (Airline economy seats) Standard rate (Airline business & First Class; small & medium private jets) Higher rate (Long range private jets with fewer than 19 seats)
Band A (0-2000)




Band B (2001-4000)




Band C (4001 – 6000)




Band D (over 6000)




If you have any questions on Air Passenger Duty and how it applies to your private flight please call our Operations team on +44 (0) 1747 642 777 (24 hours).