New Levy For Air Travellers: A Half Solution

So the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe the body responsible for all air travel in Zimbabwe is seeking to raise US$400 million in order to revamp infrastructure used by airlines.
According to The Herald the new rules are contained in a Statutory Instrument of a Government Gazette published by Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche last Friday.

This means that all airlines shall levy Infrastructure Development Fund fee on both the domestic and international tickets issued on and after 1st February 2012, pilots of non-scheduled and private flights shall collect the fees from their non exempt passengers and pay at the airport payment office before departure.

We wonder why CAAZ has decided to make a situation that is already bad for the airline industry even worse. The problems of the airline industry will not be erased by trying to raise $400 million by charging this levy.

CAAZ had previously proposed US$10 for domestic passengers and US$30 on international passengers but deferred the levy after public discontent. With the deplorable state of affairs in air travel in Zimbabwe; such a level will only hurt travellers even more.

What CAAZ is doing is adding a drop in the ocean and hoping to cause a giant wave, it’s not going to happen. The reality of flight travel in Zimbabwe requires a holistic approach that includes both public and private sector participation.

Unfortunately half a loaf is not better in this case, because dealing with matters in isolation has the potential of making a bad situation worse.