International Irish airline Aer Lingus has announced that an increasing number of travellers from the United Kingdom are flying to America via Dublin, to avoid London’s Heathrow airport which is now operating on full capacity.

Aer Lingus has recorded an increase of 36 percent in passengers using Ireland as their international connection. This is compared with figures from June 2012. They claim Dublin airport has overtaken Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport as the preferred hub for United Kingdom passengers trying to avoid Heathrow.

Last week Aer Lingus announced the introduction of direct flights from Ireland to San Francisco and Toronto, which will see these figures continue to rise.

Aer Lingus now carries 100,000 United Kingdom passengers per year to North America, via Dublin and these figures are expected to rise. Passengers use the newly built Terminal 2 at Dublin airport, which allows them to clear United States customs in advance at avoid long lines when they arrive at their destination.

The Irish Independent
reports that Aer Lingus saw an increase of 3.1 percent on the number of passengers travelling, compared to 2012. This means 1,044,000 passengers used the operator in June 2013 compared to June 2012.

Passengers have also realized that travel through Ireland saves them paying Air Passenger Duty (APD). By booking a separate ticket to Dublin they only pay the short-haul rate or “flight tax”. APD is levied on all departures from the United Kingdom and varies depending on distance flown.