Commenting on the statement from the Scottish Government, Shane Taylor, research and policy manager at Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce said:
“Air Passenger Duty has directly impacted the North-east’s connectivity, with the tax referenced as a key factor in the closure of the Gatwick and London City routes from Aberdeen International Airport. Aberdeen’s airport also faces the unique circumstances of competing with Inverness Airport on key routes, which is exempt from the tax under current arrangements. Research has shown that scrapping APD would both generate a range of new routes, and would make current routes more viable.
“Our shared ambitions for the Aberdeen City Region are built on world-class connectivity, with the aim of generating £1bn in annual visitor spend by 2023. The region is also actively building capability to be at the forefront of the transition to clean energy but in order to do so we need to be able to export our world-leading skills and expertise across the globe.
“The Scottish Government’s decision today was made without consultation and despite consistent promises to business, and will be seen as backwards step by those working to improve our connectivity and build our tourism sector in the North-east.”