In what is seen as a largely symbolic move, Ireland has scrapped its €3 aviation tax with effect from April 2014.

The move was announced in the country’s Budget yesterday and means that the UK (with our APD possibly the world’s highest aviation tax) falls further out of line with its European neighbours.

Says Dale Keller, chief executive of BAR UK (Board of Airline Representatives UK) “The UK is looking even more isolated on the matter of aviation taxes. We are moving in a different direction to everyone else. High aviation taxes are a worry both to business and leisure travellers.”

Adds BATA (The British Air Transport Association) “The UK Chancellor should take note as he prepares the Autumn Statement.”

With ever higher rates of APD (and another rise is scheduled for 2014) it is more tempting for UK travellers to utilise airports in another country for their long-haul travels.

Ireland’s main airport at Dublin is becoming an interesting hub for UK mainland passengers (especially those from the regions) who are flying transatlantic or who are bound for the Gulf and beyond.

Some of our cannier readers already tell us that to avoid the UK’s higher rates of APD, they take Aer Lingus or Ryanair into Dublin and travel onwards with separate tickets.

Aer Lingus is becoming more of a force on the transatlantic while the two Gulf carriers serving Dublin (Emirates and Etihad) can offer attractive onward connections (via their hubs) to Asia and Australasia.

Of course any savings to be made will depend entirely on factors like exchange rates, routing, airline and class of travel.

UK Air Passenger Duty levels “a blow to our national pride”