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

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

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.

Latest news

Related news