Brown comments on scrapping of Air Travel Tax in Ireland
“Scrapping Air Travel Tax in Ireland has had an immediate impact and shows what could be achieved in Scotland if we had control over Air Passenger Duty (APD).
“After the Irish Government outlined its plans to abolish the tax last year, Ryanair stated that it will deliver an additional 1 million passengers to and from Ireland as a direct result of that decision, with 20 new routes into Dublin, Shannon and Cork launching this summer.
“Airlines and airports repeatedly cite APD in the UK as one of the major obstacles when it comes to securing new routes, as well as maintaining existing ones, and it’s clear Scotland is suffering under a regime which is more suited to airports in the south east of England.
“This Scottish Government would prioritise a 50% reduction in APD within the first term of an independent Scottish Parliament, with a view to the eventual abolition of the tax when public finances allow. This reduction will allow Scotland's airports to be more competitive in attracting new direct air routes and will improve our international connectivity. Recent comments from BA Chief Executive Willie Walsh and Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary show there is support for this move in the aviation industry.
“The UK Government has failed to act on the Calman Commission’s recommendation that Scotland should be given power over APD and the abolition of Bands C & D announced in the recent UK Budget will be of very limited assistance to Scotland given the low number of services affected. The proposals we have set out in Scotland’s Future remain the best fit for Scotland.”