Home » Aviation » IATA to PH gov’t: Scrap aviation taxes, don’t move airport to Clark

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reiterated its call for the Philippines to scrap taxes levied on international airlines even as it said moving the main international gateway to Clark is not feasible.

IATA director general Tony Tyler said dropping the combined 5.5% common carriers tax (CCT) and the gross Philippine billings tax (GPBT) will give the country potential gains of about $78 million and positively impact cargo movement.

“I wrote to President Aquino earlier this year to bring his attention to the urgency of eliminating these taxes,” Tyler noted.

The Board of Airline Representatives (BAR) and the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) are also against the taxes. BAR said the move will increase foreign investments and rapidly develop secondary gateways while PTAA noted it will sustain momentum of the airline industry.

Taxes have prevented foreign airlines from mounting direct flight to the Philippines. Early this year, Dutch national carrier KLM halted its direct Amsterdam-to-Manila service. As a result, no foreign airline maintains a direct service from Europe to the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Tyler said shifting the international airport to Clark in Pampanga is not a good idea, noting government should just make do with the two runways of the Manila airports and look for ways to provide additional capacity and maximize potentials.

“Clark is also not the solution to the long-term issue for the capacity to serve this market because it is too far away in Manila,” Tyler said.

In other news, the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) last week signed an agreement that eliminates all flight limitations from Clark and increase frequencies by 50%.

Flight frequencies will be increased to 21 flights per week from the current 10 flights for Philippines to Jeddah and/or Riyadh.

Aside from KSA, the Philippines also forged an agreement with the United Arab Emirates to double current entitlements for both parties from the existing 14 flights a week to 28 flights.

Image courtesy of Airplane In The Sky by coward_lion / www.freedigitalphotos.net

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