EABC CALLS FOR FOR REDUCTION OF AIR TRANSPORT CHARGES IN THE EAC BLOC
Thusday, 23rd September 2021 Kigali, Rwanda: – The East African Business Council is calling for the reduction of air-related fees and taxes to reduce the cost of air transport in the EAC bloc.
According to African Airlines Association, in 2020 Africa recorded USD.10.21 billion passenger revenue loss. Mr. Kalisa said “the average airport charges in Eastern Africa is high at USD. 579.78 increasing air ticket passenger and air cargo costs and impacting the competitiveness of the EAC bloc”
In Eastern Africa passenger taxes on regional departures are averaged at USD. 46.16 while international departures taxes are at USD.47.85. Passengers are also transfer and arrival taxes and fees.
Apart from passengers’ taxes levied directly on the ticket, airlines are also charged noise parking, common user terminal equipment, jetway charge, passenger bus, lighting further increasing their operating costs.
Speaking during his courtesy visit to RwandAir, Mr. Kalisa, EABC CEO has urged the Ministers in charge of Transport in the EAC Partner States to reduce and align the air parking, landing, navigation, handling fees & taxes in order to increase traffic volumes and build resilience and recovery of the air transport sector in the EAC bloc.
Mr. Kalisa said, “air taxes and fees compose 50% of air tickets costs.” He elaborated that reduction of these charges will lower operating and air-ticket costs leading to higher air traffic volumes, boosting regional tourism and business.
On her part, Ms. Yvonne Makolo, Chief Executive Officer of RwandAir said “ The region needs a change of mindset as air travel is not a luxury but a necessity especially now with the disruptions of COVID-19 pandemic.”
She urged EABC to push for market access under the African Continental Free trade Area in order to boost exports of EAC products.
She stated that RwandAir has diversified to new routes such as Goma, Luanda, Maputo, Accra, Libreville in Africa. She also urged the EAC Partner States to grant each other the fifth freedoms.
Mr. Kalisa commended RwandAir for achieving Diamond status in the APEX Health Safety audit.
Mr. Kalisa urged airlines to diversify and partner in routes to enhance capacity utilization. He stated that EABC is steadfast to convene airlines and regulators of the air transport sector to deliberate on the EABC’s strategy paper set to reduce the high cost of air transport in the EAC bloc.