Home » Aviation » PH travel agents join calls to scrap aviation taxes

Removal of the common carriers tax and the gross Philippine billings tax is expected to increase foreign investment and develop secondary gateways.

The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) has asked government to scrap taxes levied on international carriers to sustain the momentum the airline industry has built in the last few years.

PTAA said both houses of Congress should step up their initiatives to remove the taxes, specifically the common carriers tax (CCT) and the gross Philippine billings tax (GPBT), which together represent a 5.5% tax.

The levies have prevented foreign airlines from mounting direct flights to the Philippines. In particular, Dutch national carrier KLM stopped its direct Amsterdam-to-Manila service, citing the taxes. As a result, no other foreign lines maintain direct services from Europe to the Philippines.

Earlier, the International Air Transport Association and Board of Airline Representatives also called for the removal of the taxes.

Both organizations believe the scrapping of the CCT and GPBT will increase foreign investments and rapidly develop secondary gateways.

“If we want to sustain the tourism momentum that has been built over the last two years, this issue has to be addressed by the government,” PTAA president Aileen Clemente said in a statement.

“Direct flights from international airlines can bring into the country the lucrative long-haul tourists,” she explained.

“Tourists also have their preferred airlines. The availability of more carriers will impact tourist decisions on whether to visit or not.”

Aeroplane Sign by Nujalee
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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