May 26, 2024

By Apolinari Tairo
Published October 2, 2018

Tanzania has with effect from October 1, 2018 introduced an airport security levy for passengers across the East African state.

Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA) says the new fee will be used for improvement of airport security through installation of high-tech equipment and safety services to improve detection capacity and reduce intrusive direct-body searches on travellers.

Richard Mayongela, Director-General of TAA, says that foreign travellers boarding aircraft at major airports in Tanzania will pay US$5 while those boarding domestic flights will pay a US$2 security fee on top of the flight ticket price.

International airlines affected by the new levy setup include Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Rwanda Air, South Africa Airways, Emirates, Qatar Air, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Swiss International, Fly Dubai and Etihad.

Also to feel heat are local carriers like Precision Air, FastJet, Air Tanzania, Coastal Aviation, and Auric Air, all operating frequent domestic flights within Tanzania and partly in East Africa.

The current departure tax for domestic flights is US$5.70 while the international departure tax is US$49 per passenger boarding a flight.

Airlines operating in Tanzania fear that the new levy will scare away travellers looking to book both local and international flights.

Alexander Van de Wint, a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines official in Dar es Salaam suggests that the Tanzania government could delay the enforcement of the security levy till 2019 as most of KLM’s tickets have been sold in advance to respective passengers travelling up to the end of 2018.

KLM is the only European-registered air carrier connecting Tanzania with North American cities. Most of KLM seats are booked by tourists from the United States and Europe. The airline operates daily flights between Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

Leading airline executives in Dar es Salaam had expressed their fear, saying that the newly-imposed security levy will make air transport in Tanzania too expensive, noting that several taxes and fees are currently charged to passengers using Tanzanian airports.

Sirili Akko, Chief Executive Officer of Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), says the newly-introduced security fees could scare away tourists planning to visit Tanzania.

“This move is not welcomed, as it works against Tanzania Government’s goal of increasing tourist traffic and will have a compounding effect on ticket cost and ultimately on the safari packages,” Akko says.

The current request from private sector targets is to reduce taxes and levies, if not abolish them altogether, Akko says.

Tourism is Tanzania’s leading foreign currency earning sector and key economic sector, but the current government had targeted industries as priority in the economic sector.

An eTurboNews article



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