The positive impact non-punitive airport charges have on local economies is being highlighted in Cartagena, Colombia.
Cartagena Rafael Núñez International Airport has more than halved its fees—from $92 to $38—and international arrivals have swelled, with ripple effects throughout the local economy.
Flights to Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Amsterdam and Madrid have been introduced
Since the fee was reduced in 2015, international passenger numbers have risen by 26%, with tourist arrivals to Cartagena increasing by 38%.
The more competitive cost structure has also allowed airlines to establish new routes—flights to Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Amsterdam and Madrid have been introduced at the airport.
IATA has called on governments throughout the region to recognize the benefits competitive fees provide.
“Unfortunately Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly the Caribbean, is rife with examples where onerous taxes and charges are imposed on aviation,” says Peter Cerda, IATA Regional Vice President, the Americas.
“The economic value that robust and sustainable connectivity creates far outweighs the short-term benefits that can be obtained through taxation.”