Int’l Air Transport body says manual collection of extra fees at CJIA ‘unacceptable’

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has deemed the manual collection of an airport security fee and airport passenger service charge as “unacceptable.”

The body is calling for an immediate dialogue with the management of Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation (CJIA) and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure regarding the implementation process of the government-mandated fees.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, the international organization revealed that international standards set out by the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Document 9082, were not followed in the calculation of the new imposed charges.

The airport on April 16, revealed that round trip passengers are now required to pay an additional US$35 or GY$7,315 while Departing passengers are required to pay an additional US$17 or GY$3, 564 and arriving passengers –US$15 or GY$3,144.

The new charges which came into effect on April 01, airlines were told, are “to support improvements at the airport.”

IATA said while it understands that airports need to recover their investment costs, this must be achieved through a collaborative and transparent process, ensuring that imposed fees are proportionate to the planned expenditure.

“This can best be achieved in partnership between all sectors of the aviation industry, thereby unlocking the true potential of a country and its people,” said Peter Cerda, IATA’s Regional Vice President, the Americas.

As such, he called on the management of CJIA to engage in dialogue.

He noted that this will ensure the sustainability of the aviation sector in Guyana and facilitate the growth of tourism and trade, thereby contributing to a vibrant and healthy economy.

IATA has noted that the airport operator refuses to cooperate with the international body on both the proper calculation and implementation of such fees and charges, causing an inconvenience to passengers who have to line-up to pay the fees at the airport.

“It is completely unacceptable that passengers are being inconvenienced in such a manner. This is a direct result of the airport’s management refusal to engage with IATA on a process which is standard practice across the globe.

“As a consequence, our member airlines have unfortunately no choice other than to manually collect the additional fees and charges”, IATA’s Regional Vice President, the Americas said in the statement.

IATA has worldwide standards in place enabling airlines to collect government-imposed fees, service charges and taxes as part of an airline ticket. These are then transferred to the respective governments.

The News Room was previously told that the airline operators were informed of the changes two months prior to April 01 but did not begin adding the fees to their tickets.

Caribbean Airlines- one of the major carriers operating out of the CJIA- said for tickets purchased after July 01, 2019 the fees will be automatically included in the cost of the ticket at the time of purchase.

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