Slash taxes to support aviation to drive economic growth: IATA

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New Delhi | Updated: March 5, 2017 7:08:30 PM

Global airlines' body IATA has asked governments across the world to slash taxes and support the aviation sector through improved infrastructure to drive economic growth, generate employment and connect people.

Making a strong plea for reducing the tax burden on airlines, he said the ‘Airlines for America’ (Reuters)

Global airlines’ body IATA has asked governments across the world to slash taxes and support the aviation sector through improved infrastructure to drive economic growth, generate employment and connect people.

“Our world has grown much wealthier through trade and travel. Air travel liberates people to live better lives and makes our world a better place… Aviation is the business of freedom and we must continue to work together to make it so,” Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said at the US Chamber of Commerce 2017 Aviation Summit in Washington.

Making a strong plea for reducing the tax burden on airlines, he said the ‘Airlines for America’ (body of major US carriers) “estimates that taxes account for more than a fifth of the cost of the average domestic ticket.

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“In a country as big, beautiful and full of opportunity as the US, why have a taxation policy that discourages travel? Travel stimulates the economy with tourism dollars and business development. We hope that the Trump Administration will create jobs by dramatically reducing the tax burden on travel.”

Contending that the aviation sector in the US contributed USD 680.1 billion to GDP and supported 6.2 million jobs, de Juniac sought a reduction in the tax burden on aviation and air travellers, besides a new approach to the provision of air traffic services.

“Airlines and their passengers suffer the impact of the unpredictable federal budget process on the Federal Aviation Administration’s provision of air traffic services. The US is falling behind in the introduction of new and more efficient technology,” he said, suggesting “the creation of an independent, corporatised non-profit entity to manage the US skies” which the IATA would support.

Speaking on the emerging security threats to aviation, de Juniac said “security is the responsibility of states but the industry is playing a role. The threat is real and is constantly evolving. We must innovate to be more effective and more efficient.”

“Partnership with governments is critical … and collaborative innovation is the only way to stay a step ahead of those intent on doing aviation harm. It is the only way to secure our vulnerabilities—landside, overflying conflict zones, insider threats or our IT infrastructure,” the IATA chief said.

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