Airports in Scotland have united to demand that Air Passenger Duty (APD) is immediately revoked in the UK, following a recently published report warning of the loss of around two million passengers per year in Scotland.
The managing directors of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports have urged chancellor George Osborne to review APD and how it will affect air traffic in Scotland. The recent report also claims that by 2016 the country’s economy is likely to lose up to GBP210 million in tourism expenditure per annum, due to the implementation of APD.
Amanda McMillan, the managing director of Glasgow Airport, said, ‘Together with the wider aviation industry, we have made repeated representations to the UK Government on APD which, as this report confirms, will continue to damage Scottish aviation by making routes unviable and decimating Scotland’s links to the rest of the world.
Due to the size of the market in Scotland, we will always find it difficult to attain and sustain new routes and this situation is compounded even further by APD which simply serves to artificially depress demand and dissuade airlines from basing aircraft here.
Unless APD is reformed, people travelling to and from Scotland – who must fly due to the lack of feasible alternatives – will continue to face some of the highest levels of taxation in Europe which is clearly a disincentive to travel.’
Derek Provan, the managing director of Aberdeen Airport, said, ‘This report shows, quite simply, that APD is damaging Scotland. It is damaging our economy, our tourism potential and our ability as a nation to bounce back from the recession. It limits our opportunities for growth in the employment market, costing as much as GBP50 million in the process.
At Aberdeen Airport we run a real risk of losing around 200,000 passengers by 2016 through this damaging tax. Each recent increase in APD has had a dramatic impact upon what we, as airports, have achieved and could have achieved without APD.
It is imperative that the UK government undertake a detailed and comprehensive review into APD with the utmost urgency, and at the very least freeze APD whilst that is taking place.’