Last week, 21 companies based in Ireland, wrote to the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer to explain the impact the loss of the Belfast to New York (Newark) route, operated by Continental Airlines, was in danger because of air passenger duty (APD). The levy adds £60 to an economy fare and £120 to a business ticket for US-bound passengers, whereas the charge from Dublin is just €3 (£2.60). Continental Airlines, which flies from both airports, said it had been subsidising the tax cost in Belfast and warned the route would be cancelled in January unless the tax was lifted or

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