The Vice President of the Dutch Carrier, KLM has told newsmen in Freetown that, the Airport Security Tax that is expected to come into force on 1st June, 2017 “is very high” and it will affect their operations in Sierra |Leone.
Mr. Frank Legre disclosed that, their air fare will be severely affected if the government of Sierra Leone goes ahead with the imposition of the US$80 Airport Security Tax for in bound and out bound passengers passing through the Lungi International Airport.
He noted that people will find it very difficult to pay the new Airport Security Tax of US$80 return when it comes into force on 1st June, 2017.
Mr. Legre argued that, Guinea and Liberia do not charge a single cent for Airport Security. “I wonder why the Sierra Leone government is introducing this tax here”, he said.
The Regional Manager of Air France/KLM, Mr. Phillip Berberi called on the government of Sierra Leone to reconsider their decision in order not to affect their operations in Sierra Leone.
“We will consider our position in Sierra Leone if the government goes ahead with the imposition of the US$80 Airport Security Tax”, a spokesman for Air France/KLM said in Paris last night. The two major European carriers fly to Sierra Leone six times a week.
Meanwhile, a firebrand opposition Member of Parliament, Hon. Umar Paran Tarawallie has described the Airport Security Tax as illegal because it was not ratified by Parliament.
The Minister of Transport and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma told newsmen in Freetown on Wednesday that, the Airport Security Tax was a Cabinet decision
It is highly likely that both KLM and Air France might discontinue their service in Sierra Leone if the government goes ahead with the imposition of the tax.