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Airline tax remains a concern

rhondathompson, [email protected]

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ANOTHER airline tax by one of Barbados’ European tourism partners has drawn expressions of “concern” from Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, who is in Britain as part of a Caribbean lobby against the British air passenger duty (APD).
Reports from Germany on Wednesday said the government there had implemented an airline ticket tax that would, like the APD, see some of the highest amounts being paid by those travellers coming to the region.
The reports said that as from September 3, tickets bought for travel beginning January 1 and onward attracted a tax of EUR8 (BDS$20) for travel to 52 European destinations, EUR25 (BDS$62) for destinations in Asia and Africa, and EUR45 (BDS$114) to all other destinations, including those in the Caribbean.
Sealy has already expressed concern about the introduction of the tax.
“I am certain that other members of the European Union may look to do likewise if we simply sit silent,” Sealy said, as he also supported his regional counterparts, who have their hands full in Britain as they lobby against the APD.
Sealy is one of the representatives from six Caribbean islands in London with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) seeking to have a review or complete scrapping of Britain’s controversial APD.
Germany’s new flight levy was introduced ahead of a proposed budget designed to reduce government’s EUR80 billion (BDS$202 billion) deficit.
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had said Cabinet agreed that the measure would go into effect even before next year’s start date in order to prevent “a rush in ticket-buying aimed at pre-empting the tax”.
Just as British airlines criticised the APD, German carriers aren’t welcoming the new airline tax either.
And regional tourism officials will be just as concerned. (AB)