GLASGOW Airport has called for proposals for a 50% discount in air passenger duty in Scotland to be resurrected after losing a US service to Edinburgh.

It had been thought that duty cuts could make prices cheaper and would lead to more flights from Scottish airports which would become more attractive to airlines.

American Airlines confirmed that the flight from Glasgow Airport to Philadelphia has been pulled and will run from Scotland's capital instead.

The airline gave the news while unveiling a raft of new flights across Europe to some of America's largest cities.

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The new daily service between Edinburgh and Philadelphia will commence from April next year, adding another international destination to the capital.

However it will take the place of American Airlines' current route to New York and it is understood staff will be redeployed.

In June ministers said an air passenger tax cut could not take place next year because it would compromise devolved powers and damage the Highlands economy.

Glasgow Airport said it was time for a rethink, saying that the "disappointing" axing of the Glasgow to Philadelphia service was a reminder of the challenges Scottish airports face in attracting and retaining routes.

A spokesman said: “Our air connections should never be taken for granted and that is why we continue to urge both the Scottish and Westminster governments to work together to find a solution in order to introduce the proposed 50% cut in Air Passenger Duty as soon as possible.

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“We continue to enjoy strong Transatlantic links with a number of services across North America and remain Scotland’s leading long-haul airport."

With control over aviation tax being handed to the Scottish Parliament as part of the latest phase of devolution, the SNP had planned to replace Air Passenger Duty (APD) with an Air Departure Tax (ADT), set at half the current rate.

Ministers then planned to abolish the tax – which generates around £150m per year – “when circumstances allow”.

But the Scottish Government put the plans on hold, saying they had been complicated by the need for exemptions afforded to the Highlands and Islands to be assessed by the European Commission, under EU State Aid rules.

Derek Mackay, the finance secretary, confirmed in June that duty cut could be pushed back saying “it has become clear that aiming to introduce the tax at the beginning of the next fiscal year, April 2019, is not possible”.

In a written answer, the finance secretary said: “The Scottish Government has been clear that it cannot take on ADT until a solution has been found to the Highlands and Islands exemption – to do so would comprise the devolved powers and risk damage to the Highlands and Islands economy.

“The Scottish Government and UK Government have continued to work together, at both ministerial and official levels, to seek a solution to the Highlands and Islands exemption issue. Despite these efforts, and combined with the continuing uncertainty as to how Brexit might affect aviation, it has become clear that aiming to introduce the tax at the beginning of the next fiscal year, April 2019, is not possible.

“The Scottish Government has a longstanding commitment to reduce ADT by 50 per cent, and we are doing all we can to work with airlines and airports to help grow the direct routes which are important for our tourism sector and Scottish businesses.

"While we work towards a resolution to the Highlands and Islands exemption, we call on the UK Government to reduce APD rates to support connectivity and economic growth in Scotland and across the UK.”