12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
The Scottish government's plan to cut air passenger duty (APD) by 50 per cent will create 3,800 jobs by 2020 and stimulate £200 million of economic benefits each year, a study has found.
The report from Edinburgh airport has found Scotland could lose out on around 100 million passengers every year, costing its economy up to £68 million in lost tourism.
The airport's CEO, Gordon Dewar, has called on Ministers to "act now" and provide a timetable for the reduction of APD, to "allow airlines and the tourism industry to plan for the change".
"We've long argued that APD is a tax on Scotland’s ability to compete with other European airports of our size, and our economy is footing the bill in lost jobs and lost opportunities," said Dewar.
"Our report shows that the economic benefit of a reduction will outweigh any lost tax revenues.
"It’s therefore reasonable for passengers, airlines and the tourism industry to have some certainty on when this regressive tax will be reduced, and to know whether it will eventually be scrapped," he added.
Last November, the Smith Commission, which was announced by prime minister David Cameron in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum, published proposals to devolve responsibility for APD to the Scottish government.
Air passenger duty is charged on all passenger flights from UK airports. The rate of tax varies according to where the passenger is going, and the class of travel.
Chairman of the Edinburgh Hotels Association Tristan Nesbitt said the proposed cut is key for Scotland especially with its aim to attract more business travellers.
"In order to remain competitive and to continue enticing more visitors to our city, it is crucial that Edinburgh is perceived as somewhere that offers great value for money," said Nesbitt.
"A reduction in Air Passenger Duty would make Edinburgh more competitive in all tourism segments, particularly in terms of business tourism which is key to driving year-round demand for the city," he added.
In March last year chancellor George Osborne announced in the Budget that there would be a reduction of APD to some long-haul flights - A business class Band D flight (includes Australasia, Malaysia and Indonesia) attracts an APD levy of £194, this will drop to the Band B rate of £138 (plus any RPI-based rise) in April 2015.
Northern England airports have raised concerns over the effect lost revenues to the Scottish airports could have if it keeps the tax.