Chancellor George Osborne will delay the planned rise on air passenger tax by one year, which would have cost flyers a combined £140 million.

The duty had been due to rise on 1 April in line with inflation. The charge currently ranges between £12 (short haul) to £85 (to Australia, New Zealand).

That doesn't mean the cost of flying will be stable given the cost of fuel is still rising.

British Airways, First Choice, Thomas Cook and Thomson have this year all hiked fuel surcharges which make up part of the price of a ticket.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of the BA/Iberia merged company International Airlines Group, has warned of further fuel surcharge rises across the industry.

While air passenger duty rates will be frozen for the next year, the increase will be deferred until April 2012 at which point it will be implemented alongside that month's inflation increase.

This means consumers will be hit by a double whammy.

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