Scottish government plans to press ahead with cuts to Air Passenger Duty from 2018 despite a mixed response to public consultation has been welcomed by Abta.

The association believes any reduction should be implemented as quickly as possible with the consultation now finalised and urged the industry to work together to support the measures.

Abta is also hopeful that the Scottish government’s move might lead to a further review of APD for the rest of the UK by HM Treasury.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “We welcome the Scottish government’s commitment to reducing APD, which is good news for Scottish travellers and businesses.

“It is right, of course, that environmental concerns are fully considered, and Abta has consistently highlighted how technological advancements are helping to reduce the environmental impacts of aviation, including the excellent work of sustainable aviation.”

He added: “We support the conclusion of the Scottish finance secretary, Derek Mackay, that the UK’s APD levels – which are massively out of step with our European counterparts – are harming Scotland’s international competitiveness, and the ability of Scottish airports to attract additional connectivity.

“We also note the support offered for APD cuts by the Scottish Chamber of Commerce and CBI Scotland. The most effective way of ensuring the competitive benefits of any reductions are reaped, is to deliver these in one hit, not to stagger any reductions over a longer period.

“Abta will be encouraging the Scottish Government to take a bold approach, and to implement the full 50% reduction from  April 1, 2018.

“We will be working with other stakeholders to persuade others within the Scottish parliament to support this tax cut, which would have benefited over 2.8 million Scottish holidaymakers, and over 300,000 business travellers in 2015, according the UK Office for National Statistics.

“We remain committed to calling for reductions of APD across the whole of the UK.

“As a leading voice within A Fair Tax on Flying, it is important we continue to drive home the case for tax fairness. However, devolution is now a fact, and the industry should work with the Scottish government as they seek to deliver this reduction.”