Aviation sector says no to another airline ticket levy

Plans re-floated by the East African Legislative Assembly, the legislative organization of the East African Community, to bring back plans of a US$0.70 levy on every air ticket sold in the region to f

Aviation sector says no to another airline ticket levy

Plans re-floated by the East African Legislative Assembly, the legislative organization of the East African Community, to bring back plans of a US$0.70 levy on every air ticket sold in the region to finance CASSOA, the region’s Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency, have met with instant opposition by the airlines in the region.

“It seems in vogue these days to hammer aviation with more taxes. The African Union has been trying it; the Kenyan government has taken taxing airlines to death to a new level; and left, right, and center are we being threatened with higher tax burdens while our competitors laugh all the way to the bank because they do not have such threats. Every added cent in taxes has to go into the air tickets, and the more expensive it is, the less people can be brought in to use air transport. Besides, the objectives of CASSOA have by and large failed. This was to become a one-stop center from which approvals and permits and licenses would be accepted by the national aviation regulators. THAT has not happened, and airlines still have to go back to the national bodies. Once you have received clearance from CASSOA it seems that national CAAs are not too bothered to accept it at face value and still engage in their own processes. As you repeatedly pointed out, this constitutes, therefore, just another layer of bureaucracy for us,” let a regular commentator from Nairobi fly.

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Another simply pointed out that CASSOA’s operations are hamstrung, because the member states failed to remit their contributions as per approved budget estimates, and it should be that failure which needed to be remedied and not airlines to be taxed yet more. Valid point there considering that aviation serves both a strategic role as well as is often the only viable means to reach from one end of the East African Community to the other without wasting days at end on the road.

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