IAG chief executive Willie Walsh joined other UK airline bosses in strong criticism of the British government for increasing air passenger duty yet again in the recent budget.

The tax on air travel is set to rise for long-haul destinations next month and again in 2014.

A joint statement from Willie Walsh, Carolyn McCall of easyJet, Craig Keeger of Virgin Atlantic and Michael O’Leary of Ryanair, issued in the wake of the Budget said: “These rises in air passenger duty show the emptiness of rhetoric on boosting exports to emerging economies and building the world’s most competitive tax system in the world.”