Published On: Mon, Dec 10th, 2012

DAE supports ALTA and Member Airlines in denouncing surprise Airport Tax Hike by Curacao Airport Authorities

WILLEMSTAD – Curacao’s local airline Dutch Caribbean Express (DAE) joins the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) and Member airlines in denouncing the action taken by the airport authorities in Curacao, involving a surprise increase in airport taxes and landing in Curacao. The sudden and unexpected hike in airport and landing fees is an unjustified measure to increase airport revenues at the expense of passengers and carriers.

The surprising news was delivered via a letter sent on November 30th by CUR airport (Curacao Airport Partners) notifying that effective December 1st, not only all Passenger Facility Charges (PFC's) would be increased by 150%, but also the landing fees. Although the Curacao airport authority will assume the cost of the PFC increase on tickets previously sold at a price that included the existing PFC, if the flight date on said tickets is within 3 months of the new charges becoming effective, carriers will be forced to absorb the additional taxes on tickets already sold for flights departing after February 28th 2013.

This initiative is deplorable and counters the International Civil Aviation Organization´s (ICAO) recommended practices for several reasons. Carriers condemn the tax increase implementation by the airport authorities, as it will negatively affect not only passengers and airlines but the economy of the island. Raising taxes by 150%, from one day to the next, is drastic and unheard of.

The Air transport industry currently supports 5.4 million jobs and $125 billion in GDP in Latin America and the Caribbean, directly creating an estimated 524,000 jobs in 2010 and a total of more than 4.0 million jobs supported through the catalytic impacts of travel and tourism. Raising airport taxes and fees proves to be detrimental for the local economies, causing a sharp decline in both the number of visitors to a destination, and the number of tourism related jobs within that destination. ALTA addressed an official message to the Minister of Traffic, Transport and Urban Planning of Curacao in Willemstad, expressing its serious concern for this latest tax increase and the impact it is expected to bear on Curacao´s tourism.

Nelson Ramiz of DAE is also concerned about this sudden increase. “It is hard to do business in the airline industry if prices are . The people from CAP need to understand that in order to do business they have to invest first in their facilities and then charge the people for the excellent service. Now they want to do it the other way around, CAP wants to charge the passengers and the airliners first so to invest in their facilities. The services rendered by the airport is not good and now they want to charge more. This is not good for the economy and not good for the airline business,” Mr. Ramiz declared.

About ALTA:
ALTA (Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association) is a private, non-profit organization, whose member airlines represent more than 90 percent of the region's commercial air traffic. ALTA coordinates the collaborative efforts of its members in order to facilitate the development of safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly air transport in the Latin America and Caribbean region for the mutual benefit of the association's members, their customers and the industry. Visit ALTA at www.ALTA.aero

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