British Airways has noted the news that the UK air passenger duty (APD) on all long-haul flights is to be harmonised to a lower level, but has repeated its call for the unpopular tax to be scrapped.

In his budget, the UK’s chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne announced that from next year all long-haul flights will carry the same, lower, band B tax rate that customers now pay to fly to the United States.

It will be paid for by a new APD charge on private jets. A BA spokesman said: “This is window dressing a tax that even George Osborne says is ‘crazy’. It still punishes families and costs UK jobs. The only long-term solution is to scrap APD in its entirety and allow the aviation and tourism industries to flourish, to the benefit of the wider UK economy.”

APD remains the highest aviation tax levied in the world.