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Uganda drops Airport Charges as Passenger Traffic Climbs to 90% of Pre-Pandemic Levels

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The government of Uganda has moved to boost Entebbe international airport traffic by easing transit through lower taxes. According to business daily, the country’s finance minister made the announcement during a budget presentation, citing high airport charges as a key factor contributing to high ticket prices on African routes.

“Under the Value Added Tax Act, the following amendments have been made, exempting the supply of airport user services charged by the Civil Aviation Authority to reduce the cost of transiting through Entebbe Airport,” said  Finance Minister Matia Kasaija

The move will help ease an increasingly high cost aviation environment as oil prices continue to skyrocket due to the war in Ukraine.

Efforts to get comment from the airport have received no response at the time of publishing.

Meanwhile, after a precipitous drop in traffic in March 2020 passenger traffic into and out of Uganda has responded well to the reopening of the economy with numbers for May trending above the African average of 74%.

Passenger traffic through Entebbe Airport, reached 89.7% of pre-pandemic levels during May, reflecting the steady recovery in airline schedules as travel restrictions ease for Ugandans.

Monthly data by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority CAA, shows that 125,933 international passengers passed through the facility in May 2022.,

The numbers are a bounce back from the record lows recorded in March 2020, when international traffic through Entebbe fell to just 987 passengers. The airport is served by 18 international airlines flying to 30 destinations.

“Traffic averaged 4.062 passengers daily during May 2022. We are yet to recover to the daily average of 5.000 passengers but we see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Vianney Luggya, the manager for public affairs at the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority.

Key drivers have been the full reinstatement of airline schedules after the full reopening of the economy in January and the relaxation of travel restrictions in April. Fully vaccinated passengers entering and leaving Uganda no longer need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR certificate. However, unvaccinated passengers arriving and leaving Uganda must present a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure.

The schedule is at 295 weekly departures, with the Entebbe-Nairobi route as the busiest sector at 45 departures.

 

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