Aviation Tax Increases Are ‘Absolute Insanity’


The Opposition’s shadow tourism spokesman described the increased Customs fees/taxes levied on the aviation industry as “absolute insanity”, and called on the Government to “urgently” revisit its policy.
Responding to the Airlines for America consortium, which warned that its members might “reconsider their service levels to the Bahamas” in the wake of the 2013-2014 Budget’s tax rises, John Bostwick, an attorney and FNM Senator, said the episode raised questions over the Christie administration’s “ability to govern in a modern, globalised world”.
Pointing out that the tax increases, and airline industry response, threatened to undermine efforts to increase airlift capacity into the Bahamas by 400,000 seats in preparation for Baha Mar’s 2015 opening, Mr Bostwick told Tribune Business he had “some serious concerns”.
Noting that Michael Halkitis, minister of state for finance, appeared to “dismiss” concerns raised by the private aviation industry over the new $50 refuelling stop and Customs processing fee, plus associated departure tax rises, Mr Bostwick said the situation had resulted from the Government’s “total failure to consult”.
Tribune Business revealed that the Airlines for America coalition, which represents key operators such as Jet Blue, Delta and American Airlines, had warned that its members “may be forced to reconsider their service levels to the Bahamas”.