Don't impose additional fees on air travellers

An aircraft on the tarmac
An aircraft on the tarmac File photo

At a time when the novel coronavirus has hit the aviation sector hard, the Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh has opted to impose a security fee and airport development fee on the passengers, which will be effective on 1 August.

On the domestic routes, the CAAB has fixed Tk 100 as airport development fee and Tk 70 as security fee. While going to other SAARC countries, a passenger has to pay $5 as development fee and $6 as security fee. For flights to other countries it will be $10 for both development fee and security fee.

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The CAAB claims that this will increase the earning of the airports. Well, that is certainly true. But we wonder how will have to bear the brunt of this decision. This will certainly lead to an increased airfare.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, the number of passengers has already gone down. People travel less for business purposes as well. Such added fees will certainly upset the tourists.

The airline companies say this will have a negative impact on the sector, especially at a time when the number of passengers on the domestic routes was on the rise.

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Thousands of the expatriate workers have got stuck here after coming home on holidays. Many have started to return after the resumption of the international flights while many others are also waiting to join their work abroad. But right at this moment, they are needing to spend Tk 3500-4000 for a COVID-19 negative certificate. This newly imposed fees will make things even more difficult for these people. This decision should be reviewed.

Developing the services at the airport should be a priority, true. But instead of imposing fees on these poor workers, the CAAB should find a way out to increase their earnings.