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Transport / Loganair boss repeats air duty plea

Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles.Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles.

LOGANAIR managing director Jonathan Hinkles has again called for the Scottish Government to scrap air passenger duty (APD) on all flights to the Highlands and Islands.

It comes after the government made a u-turn on plans to cut the tax paid by passengers flying from Scottish airports due to the environmental impact of air travel.

The Scottish Government had planned to reduce air departure tax by a half before eventually getting rid of it.

There is already an exemption in place for flights leaving the Highlands and Islands, but Hinkles has now reiterated his desire to see it extended to all flights travelling into the region.

The airline boss said the news of the government u-turn was a “disappointment but not a surprise”.

“As this is now purely an environmental debate, we’re calling on the Scottish Government to introduce an APD exemption for flights from mainland airports to the Highlands and Islands, reciprocating the exemption for incoming flights that already exists,” Hinkles said.

“The emissions for a car with two passengers from Glasgow to Ullapool and then ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway are higher than for a typical passenger flight from Glasgow to Stornoway.

“As the government appears keen to use tax policy to further its environmental aims, it should immediately act to remove APD from all flights to Scotland’s islands on this basis.”

Loganair, meanwhile, has this week moved its desks at Glasgow Airport – meaning passengers should have a much shorter walk from check-in to security.

They are now located at desks 34 and 35 instead of one and two.

The change comes as Loganair launches its largest ever summer schedule from Glasgow, with a 33 per cent increase in services compared to last year.