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Govt is not reviewing airport departure tax, says minister

29th November 2012
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Transport deputy minister Dr Charles Tizeba leaves Airport Fire brigade offices at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam yesterday during on orientation tour. With him are Civil Aviation Manager Tunga Ali (to his left) and Julius Nyerere International Airport director general Suleiman Suleiman (Photo: Selemani Mpochi)

The deputy minister for Transport, Charles Tizeba, has said that the government has no plans to review flight departure taxes for both international and domestic travellers.

Currently airport departure tax stands at USD30 for international flights while for internal flights it is between USD6 and USD11 subject to the airport.

Speaking at the launch of Africa’s low-cost carrier airline—fastjet, Tizeba said the current tax system would remain in place.

“We don’t have any intention to reduce the current flight departure taxes…both international and domestic travellers will have to pay…. The only incentive we can guarantee to air traveler operators, is to keep fuel price law,” he said.

On the other hand, Tizeba explained that the government will improve the infrastructure for the country’s aviation industry to flourish and attract more operators so that this would in turn stimulate the economy.

“The coming of fastjet in the country’s sky is a milestone to the Tanzania aviation industry, although previously we had similar low-cost carriers but not of this kind,” Tizeba said.

He added: “I have ordered the Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA), to immediately improve Mwanza and Kilimanjaro airports so as to render them fully operational.”

According to him, the government is currently improving Mpanda, Kigoma, Bukoba, Tabora and Mafia airports whereas Songwe International Airport in Mbeya is set to be launched later this year.

Earlier in his remark, fastjet Chief Executive Officer Edward Winter said: “Today is an incredibly exciting day not just for Fastjet, but for Tanzania and Africa as a whole.”

Winter explained that for years the aviation-market has been underserved, and has not had a reliable and affordable air travel option.

“Therefore, fastjet would serve to fill the gap thus bringing Tanzanians to the whole continent with point-to-point, all jet airline, operating to international standards of safety and quality,” he said.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN