A recent proposal made by the Chairman of the Pan Am World Airways Dominicana, that Caribbean governments should agree on a strategy aimed at reducing the taxes and fees imposed on air travel is on the agenda for the OECS and Caricom.
Luis David Ramirez chairman for PAWA Dominicana says that governments will see increase intra-regional travel if travellers see a reduction in the cost of flying.
Commenting on the proposal, Government Spokesperson Lionel Hurst said that regional leaders are set to discuss the issue but however added that it is not an issue which will be easily eliminated.
“It’s one of the items on the OECS agenda to discuss and its certainly on the Caricom’s item as well, but this is not an issue which will go away right now” he said.
He said that regional leaders are very much aware of the high taxes associated with air travel but justified the high rate with the expenses associated with operating an airline.
” We are very much aware that the taxes that travelers play have been elevated that’s because of the governments that operate air terminals must purchase very expensive machines and also man those machinery with people who are very well trained which means that expenses that they didn’t face before they now pay.”
“As a consequence,” he added, “the governments try out even out the cost of operating the airports by increasing the taxes which passengers must pay.”
The Government’s spokesperson told ZDK news that while PAWA Dominicana’s chairman remains perceptive on the negatives of high taxes associated with air travel; it is not the only factor contributing to the high cost of intra-regional travel.
Ramirez is the most recent voice added to the call for taxes linked to air travel in the Caribbean to be reduced.