(CMR) Antigua and Barbuda has announced a 50 percent reduction in taxes on airline tickets for travel within several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries for six months.
“We think at this time where regional travel is relatively low, extremely flat that there is very little to lose and even though it may not be the best condition which to analyze the elasticity of ticket prices, it will give us some indicative indication as to how a reduction in pricing would impact on demand without creating a financial crisis, “Prime Minister Gaston Browne said.
“There is nothing to lose at this time, very little will oose as a result of cutting those taxes. So in the case of Antigua and Barbuda, we have taken a decision to cut our regional airport taxes by 50 percent, effective Monday (June 28), and we will do so for six months to see how it impacts on revenue and then to make a final determination going forward as to what percentage is sustainable, if it is 25, 40 or even the 50 percent,” he added.
The reduction in taxes is expected to assist the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, which has been placed under court-ordered administration.
Browne said, “This will also help LIAT too, especially if the OECS and Barbados could come together and agree on a travel bubble and to allow for fully vaccinated persons to move without quarantining. We think that will be a win-win for all of us and will also increase our airport taxes, hopefully, because as it stands now, people aren’t traveling, so we are hardly collecting any taxes, and if we can incentivize the process, it will be a win-win for all stakeholders.”