Air passenger charges only go to Airport operator, says Customs and Revenue boss

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Customs and Revenue CEO Kulufeinga 'Anisi Bloomfield. Photo/Supplied

The CEO of Tonga’s Customs and Revenue, Anisi Bloomfield,  said the air passenger tax only goes to Tonga Airport Ltd.

Bloomfield was responding to recent attacks from people saying the government was imposing too many charges.

Vava’u MP Akosita Lavulavu recently complained that passengers travelling on return ticket from Tongatapu to Vava’u was charged four times, making a total of $TP46.

Real Tonga said it added the tax charge of $11.50 (($10 airport levy plus $1.50 CT)per leg to passengers because they could not afford to pay Tonga Airport Ltd  (TAL) an annual airport charge as required by the law.

Kaniva News has asked Real Tonga to clarify why it charged the tax on each leg of the flight. We are still waiting for a comment.

TAL is the sole airport operator in the Kingdom and a wholly owned public enterprise of the government of Tonga.

TAL said it was not true that a fee was paid to the local airport authority on every domestic air ticket sold.

It said it had not imposed an airport charge separately for Real Tonga’s domestic services.

Airport charges were levied on users of airport services under the Civil Aviation (Airport Charges) Regulations 2008.

As Kaniva News reported last month, Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva recently responded to complaints about the cost of airfares to Vava’u by saying there should be another domestic airline to bring down fees.

Real Tonga CEO Tevita Palu said the Tongan market was too small to support another airline.

The main points

  • The CEO of Tonga’s Customs and Revenue, Anisi Bloomfield, said today the air passenger tax only goes to Tonga Airport Ltd.
  • Bloomfield was responding to recent attacks from people saying the government was imposing too many charges.
  • Vava’u MP Akosita Lavulavu recently complained that passengers travelling from Tongatapu to Vava’u was charged four times, making a total of $TP46.

For more information

Real Tonga CEO denies claims of cheap aircraft leases, says no room for second airline

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