• Today
    August 23

  • 05:03 PM

LIAT CEO: Taxes on flights too high

NATASHA BECKLES, natashabeckles@nationnews.com

Added 20 April 2018

julie-reifer-jones

LIAT CEO Julie Reifer-Jones. (Picture by Natasha Beckles.)

Caribbean governments are being encouraged to revisit the level of taxation on airline tickets.

The issue came up earlier this week as LIAT, Air Antilles and Winair announced the CaribSKY alliance which will see them using codeshares and interline agreements to make regional travel easier and cheaper.

The event was held at La Creole Beach Hotel & Spa in Guadeloupe.

LIAT’s chief executive officer Julie Reifer-Jones said taxation was a “ticklish issue” but a solution had to be found.

She said a recent study showed that intra-regional travel had declined significantly. LIAT, she said, was now moving 750 000 passengers annually in comparison to one million in the past.

“When we tried to get behind the numbers and look at some of the factors impacting that decline, the taxes – and this includes both airport and the taxes directly from the government – are acting as a significant deterrent to travel across the region.

“Because we are connecting passengers across several territories, we are actually picking up taxes from three or four territories every time somebody flies from one destination to the next and we also have the issue of in transit taxes because we’re stopping at St Maarten or we’re stopping in St Vincent or we’re stopping in Barbados,” Reifer-Jones said.

The CEO revealed that while LIAT had raised its base fare by about three per cent between 2009 and 2016, taxes had increased by about 56 per cent.

“What the passenger sees is not the base fare. They are going to see the total package and their reaction to buying a ticket to travel to Guadeloupe or travel to Dominica is going to be impacted by that total bottom line picture,” she said.

Reifer-Jones said regional government should be implored to help boost regional travel.

“I think that in this conversation we all have to try to influence our governments to make a commitment to the region … and to put some measures in place that will help to stimulate that intra-regional travel because when it happens there will be economic growth and we will all benefit,” she said.  (NB)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

POLL

Do you think that marijuana should be legalised only for medical and scientific purposes?

Yes
No

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

INSTAGRAM