East Africa: High Taxes to Blame for Rise in Airfares, EAC States Told

The situation has been compounded by the slow pace of liberalisation of air travel, a delegation of East African Business Council (EABC) board members which visited Kenya recently was informed.

“The largest component of airfares is attributed to government taxes levied by the East African Community (EAC) partner states,” the East African Tourism Platform (EATP) said yesterday in a statement to The Citizen.

The statement cited a recent study carried out in Kenya on the cost of air transport in the bloc which attributed to the high taxes charged on the tickets by the governments.

The EABC team was further told by Kenyan officials that their country will champion for fellow partner states in the bloc — Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda — to reduce the taxation on air transport services.

This, according to the regional tourism body, will be done by pressing the member countries in the community to operationalise the harmonisation of regulatory fees and charges in the region “in order to have a level playing field for all operators and reduce the cost of air transport”.

It emerged during the Nairobi talks that Kenya will, during the next EAC Sectoral Council on Transport, Communications and Meteorology, champion the finalisation of the air transport liberalisation regulations.

The Kenyan delegation during the meeting was led by deputy president William Ruto and was attended by cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries and senior officials from ministries whose dockets touch on regional projects and programmes under EAC.

EABC is an apex body of private sector associations based in Arusha and with an observer status to the community.

Source: The Citizen.

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