29 APRIL 2019
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Airline and airport representatives have reacted after the Scottish government said plans for Scotland to have its own version of an Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax have been delayed again, this time until at least April next year.
The government said legal issues over state aid rules had delayed the plans. Economy minister Kate Forbes said this, together with “continued uncertainty around Brexit”, meant introduction of the new tax would have to be deferred beyond next April.
The announcement drew strong criticism from Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, which represents 13 UK-registered carriers, and the heads of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar, and AGS Airports, Derek Provan. AGS owns Glasgow and Aberdeen airports.
In a joint statement, they said: "The Scottish government needs to be straight with industry. This was a cast-iron manifesto commitment and they have now failed to implement it two years in a row…
“In the meantime, it is Scottish tourism and connectivity that is suffering, as we've seen with Norwegian pulling out of Edinburgh and lost routes at both Glasgow and Aberdeen.
"The message from airlines and airports is clear – either do what you have promised and get on with it sooner rather than later or be upfront with us that it is never going to happen."
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