The Scottish Passenger Agents Association has teamed with Scotland’s airports, airlines, business and tourism organisations to step up lobbying efforts on Air Departure Tax.

Earlier this month, the Scottish government confirmed it was abandoning its manifesto pledge to cut and eventually abolish ADT – which will replace Air Passenger Duty in Scotland.

The travel and tourism bodies say axing ADT “would have played a major role in strengthening Scotland’s connectivity and boosting its tourism industry”.

Now they are requesting a joint meeting with first minister Nicola Sturgeon to argue their case against the U-turn on ADT.

Joining the SPAA in signing a letter are AGS Airports – which owns and manages Aberdeen and Glasgow airports – Edinburgh Airport, Airlines UK, CBI Scotland, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Scottish Council for Development and Industry and Scottish Tourism Alliance.

In the letter, they express their concern at the lack of consultation ahead of the decision and the impact it will have on Scotland’s connectivity.

The letter said: “In developing this policy position, the Scottish government consulted extensively with industry, convening its first ADT Stakeholder Forum as far back as 6 August 2015.

“This forum provided a platform to highlight the detrimental impact of Air Passenger Duty (APD) on Scotland’s connectivity and to share the tangible benefits a cut would deliver in terms of job creation and route development.

“When benchmarked against European countries of a similar size, it is clear that Scotland’s connectivity lags.”

The letter noted how a recent government report outlined ambitions to enhance international connectivity to allow Scottish businesses to increase their earnings.

“It is difficult to see how this can now be achieved in light of the sudden reversal in policy which will serve to further exacerbate our connectivity deficit,” commented the letter.

“Our airports are already reporting a loss of routes and the promised cut in ADT would have provided airlines with the confidence required to invest in Scotland.”

The signatories say they share the government ambitions for Scotland to become a ‘carbon neutral’ economy by 2045, but say the U-turn on tax will do nothing to further that goal because of the steps that aviation is taking to tackle emissions.

The letter requests a joint meeting “to better understand how the Scottish government can support an industry that has such an important role to play in strengthening Scotland’s global standing”.

It concludes: “Our organisations wish to work with you to ensure there is a cohesive, evidenced-based policy backdrop that allows us all to help deliver sustainable economic growth for Scotland.”

More: Updated: Trade dismay over Scottish U-turn on air tax cuts