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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

MORAY BENEFIT FROM NEW HOLYROOD APD POWERS

04/01/2016  

OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD ON PROGRESS WITH MORE DIRECT CONNECTIONS

Angus Robertson, MP for Moray, has said that the Scottish aviation industry is set for a further boost with the devolution of Air Passenger Duty to Holyrood, as stats show the number of destinations and routes from Scotland have doubled in the last ten years.

Businesses in Moray have regularly pointed to the importance of airlinks from Inverness and Aberdeen while the Scottish Chamber of Commerce has said that a reduction in Air Passenger Duty would be an economic boost.

Between 2003 and 2013 the number of foreign airports served has risen from 54 to 113, while the number of routes to international destinations has also increased from 82 to 167 during the same period – with the opportunity for further direct international connections to come.

The rise is in spite of the high rates of APD imposed by the UK Government, which has consistently held back the industry and Scotland’s economy as Michael O’Leary, the Head of Ryanair and Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of IAG, the parent group of British Airways – said last year.

Commenting, Angus Robertson MP said:

“The growth in the Scottish aviation industry is hugely welcome. I have long argued that the devolution of Air Passenger Duty powers would gives us a real opportunity to build on this progress and ensure more direct international connections to Scotland.

“In Moray we have many internationally renowned brands and better and cheaper access to their marketplaces would undoubtedly be a boost.

“Tourism in Moray is also a hugely important sector and making it cheaper for visitors to get direct access to our region has real economic potential for us.

“Over the last ten years, the number of foreign airports served from Scotland has doubled, with the number of routes also doubling during that time – giving a clear indication of Scotland’s growing international demand.

“This growth has happened despite the high levels of the UK Government’s Air Passenger Duty (APD), which penalises Scottish airports and damages our economy by an estimated £200m.

“Given the clear advantages of reducing APD for airports across Scotland I sincerely hope that other parties in Scotland will get behind the positive use this power when it becomes available to the Scottish Parliament.”

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