It showed that when measured against 39 airports stretching to as far as Key West, Florida, Barbados’ charges were the fifth lowest at US$55.30. Noting that the taxes and fees were “charged indirectly through airlines”, the CDB report, which was released at its recent annual meeting in St Kitts, showed that Jamaica topped the list with US$114.40 in Kingston and US$106.11 in Montego Bay. It was followed by the Dominican Republic (US$105.70), Haiti (US$99.20), The Bahamas (US$99.10), Antigua (US$98.10), and Turks and Caicos Islands (US$93.10).
Barbados was among a group that had the lowest charges, with the US$11.20 charged by Puerto Rico and Florida the lowest listed. In the study, it was pointed out the money passengers were charged for airline tickets “includes various charges and taxes that the airline passes on”.
“Charges represent the cost of building and operating airports and their facilities. Taxes are levied by governments for other reasons, for example, to address the externalities imposed by air transport, such as climate change or simply to raise revenue,” it added. However, while most stakeholders told the researchers that the ticket fees and taxes were “necessary to help pay for the expensive aviation infrastructure, and that the principle of ‘user pays’ is fair”, they wanted transparency “to reassure all that the fees and taxes are used for the purpose for which they are allegedly collected – to support and improve aviation infrastructure”.
“Stakeholders indicated that, generally, the government fees and taxes portion of ticket prices range from 30 to 50 per cent in the region. To the extent that these taxes do not reflect the cost of infrastructure provision and are simply for revenue-raising purposes, then government policy is arguably contributing to the financial problems of the airlines,” said the report.