The SNP and Scottish Greens have been urged not to go ahead with plans for a “supertax” on air travel which would “cut off” Aberdeen and the north-east from the rest of the world. The Scottish Government is plotting to hike up the prices of domestic flights by using taxation in a bid to recover from its net zero failures.

Known as “air departure tax,” nationalists have long rebuffed calls to do this from environmental groups but it is now firmly on the agenda to push people away from air travel and onto trains. It will need permission from Westminster to replace air passenger duty with this, a tax on all eligible fliers leaving UK airports.

The Scottish Government faced up to “abject humiliation” last week when it axed its “world-leading” climate targets, and now are looking at pricing people out of flying domestically and choosing more sustainable transport options. But this would also hit SNP MPs who fly from Scotland down to England.

And now the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce has warned that if they go ahead with this, it will cut off Aberdeen and the north east from the rest of the world. They described it as a “knee-jerk response” which would damage the economy which has already suffered with the downturn of the oil and gas sector.

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Humza Yousaf has attempted to curry favour with voters in the north-east by claiming he wants to make it the “net zero capital of Europe” and SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn is an MP for the city. But his proposals could set this back amid claims it would stop people taking flights from Aberdeen International Airport.

The chamber pointed out that the airport hosts a number of critical domestic flights serving the energy and business sector, with several daily connections to London, Newcastle, Manchester and to the the Highlands and islands. Meanwhile rail connections south are much slower.

Russell Borthwick, chief executive at Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce

Chief executive Russell Borthwick described the proposals as “deeply unhelpful” as they try to attract investment to the region and pointed out that this goes against Mr Yousaf’s boast of a “new deal for business.” He said: “Any supertax of this kind on business travel would fly in that face of that accord.

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