Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

The world has seen an enormous increase in flights for leisure, business and commercial purposes around the world over recent years.

What do you think are the main advantages and disadvantages of such flights?

Do you think flights should be taxed more?

Air passengers have different agendas and travel as tourists or for business purposes. Millions of people take to the skies around the world because of advances in technology and the availability of connecting flights.

The world has become a smaller place to live in and aircrafts provide the opportunity for people and products to be transported anywhere. Travelling for leisure introduces us to new lands, cultures and ways of living leading to acceptance and open-mindedness. Business people are able to make new contacts, get better deals and import and export products from far-away destinations. All this would not be possible without travelling by aircraft. In fact, in some isolated parts of the world or in the case of islands this is the only option available.

The environmental impact of flying however is great. A single flight emits a large amount of pollution, especially long-haul flights which consume large amounts of fuel. It is for this reason that some people believe that flights should be taxed more. That is, travellers should think twice about the carbon footprints they leave behind when going abroad.

The airline business is competitive and added taxes might reduce sales and cause a company to shut down. Even though the travel industry brings valuable money into a country and provides jobs to millions, the environment is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Instead of taxing passengers, a better solution would be to spend money on research and development to produce aircrafts that use alternative sources of energy.

Question taken from IELTS Testbuilder 2 p.61
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