Dame Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South, highlighted the negative impact air passenger duty (APD) is having on Aberdeen during a debate in the House of Commons.
A report released by Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports warns that APD could cost Scotland more than two million passengers a year by 2016, costing the Scottish economy £210 million in lost tourism spend per annum.
Dame Anne said: “It is clear by the 800 emails that I received from my constituents that the impact of APD is deeply felt by people in Aberdeen. We depend on air travel as there is no electrification of the railway line north of Edinburgh and it is highly unlikely that high speed rail will ever reach us.
“Passengers leaving Aberdeen are often connecting to routes via hubs like Heathrow. However, APD and the congestion caused by the lack of a third runway are making it difficult for Heathrow to compete with hubs such as Schipol, Paris or Frankfurt. Travellers are therefore choosing these airports where taxation is charged at a much lower rate or, is in fact, not levied at all.
“In Aberdeen, we have a lot of business travellers who want to be connected to emerging markets. Whilst I would like to see more direct flights from Aberdeen, it is crucial to the UK airlines that those travellers choose to fly via Heathrow and not other European hubs.”