Stakeholders in the aviation industry have urged governments in Africa to review downwards some taxes levelled on airlines, travellers and other aviation related businesses in order to make air transport flourish in the continent.
The stakeholders also urged African government to stop seeing air transport as luxury service, but as catalyst to economic development of any nation and strive to make air travel cheap so that more people can travel in the continent.
The Secretary General of Airports Council International (ACI), Africa, Mr. Ali Tounsi, who said this, advocated for African airports, increased focus on non-aeronautical revenues as they can help in, “recovering operating costs and reduce the use of aviation taxes for future airport development.”
He said African airports at the moment, have the greatest reliance on aeronautical revenue than airports in other regions, whereas non-aeronautical revenue generates a higher profit margin and thus contributes more to financial sustainability and the capacity to withstand traffic volatility.
The Chief Operating Officer of Overland Airways, Mrs. Aanu Benson, called for palliatives such as tax breaks and elimination of multiple taxations on African airlines as this, “will go a long way to encourage African airlines to develop new routes and invariably, enable the success of Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).
“It is 45 per cent more expensive to fly around Africa than to fly to other parts of the world from Africa. Every additional tax makes the difference in determining whether or not a passenger will fly,” said the Vice President, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Africa, Ms. Adefunke Adeyemi.