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Cost Hikes Domestic airlines agitate over aviation fuel cost

“Aviation fuel in Ghana is much more expensive than it is in the whole sub-region. So we go to Lagos and tanker our fuel from there…that is because Ghana’s aviation fuel is a lot higher”.

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The price of aviation fuel in Ghana is one of the most expensive in the West African Sub- Region, something that has become an issue of major concern for domestic airlines in the country.

Some of the domestic airlines are complaining about the effect of the costs on their businesses.

One of such carriers, Africa World Airlines, has revealed that it currently fuels its planes in Nigeria due to the high cost of fuel in Ghana.

Read more: Domestic airlines to sack workers

Head of Human Resource at the Airlines, Christabel Amegayibor has charged government to do something about the situation as it could cripple the domestic aviation industry.

“Aviation fuel in Ghana is much more expensive than it is in the whole sub-region. So we go to Lagos and tanker our fuel from there…that is because Ghana’s aviation fuel is a lot higher”.

She further called for an immediate action in considering the reduction of the 17.5 percent VAT on Domestic fares which she said has reduced patronage of domestic flights.

Meanwhile, The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Airports Company, Mr Charles Asare, has indicated the company's resolve to engage the government on how to have the price of aviation fuel reduced for the airlines using the country's airport.

The move is intended to make the airport more attractive to the airlines while helping to reduce their operational costs.

Mr Asare said this at a reception at the residence of Ghana's Ambassador to the United States in honour of South African Airways (SAA), which made its maiden flight to that country on August 3.

"Ghana has the highest cost when it comes to aviation fuel and that is not too attractive for the airport," he said, adding, "It is high because of the taxes not the real fuel itself so we will talk to see how best the cost can be reduced."

According to him, the case to be made by the company would be valuable and "we are optimistic we will succeed in the greater interest of the country".

Many airlines that once used the airport have packed out because of the high cost of aviation fuel in Ghana.

One of such airlines is United Airlines which abandoned the Accra/Baltimore Route with such complaints.

For instance, due to the many taxes, Ghana's aviation fuel is about 50 per cent higher than its peers in the sub-region.
This has compelled many of the airlines to travel beyond the borders to refuel only to top up in Ghana.

Just like fuels for vehicles, the government has placed heavy taxes on aviation fuel as part of efforts to raise more revenue for the state.

That move has largely been condemned by experts who argue that the move was a "lazy" way to look for money for development because it makes cost of operation too expensive for those who are compelled to buy fuel to run their businesses.

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