The new measure has been taken for travelling by the government of Antigua and Barbuda in which they announced a 50 % tax reduction on airline tickets. While travelling into any countries that come under the Caribbean Community. An indication had also been given that this measure will last for 6 months in 1st instance.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that they were thinking at that time where regional travel has been relatively low, extremely flat that there has been very little to lose and even though it might not be the best condition which to analyse the elasticity of ticket prices, it would give them some indicative indication as to how a reduction in pricing would impact on demand without building a financial pressure.
PM Gaston Browne also added that there had been nothing to lose at the time, very little would be the loss as a result of cutting those taxes. So in the case of Antigua and Barbuda, they had taken a decision to cut their regional airport taxes by 50 per cent, which would be effective from Monday (June 28). They would do so for six months to see how it impacts on the revenue and then to make a final determination going forward as to what percentage has been sustaining if it would be 25, 40 or even 50 per cent.
PM Gaston Browne, while speaking on his weekly radio programme, said that this matter has also been addressed within the sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) nearly 3 weeks ago.
PM Gaston Browne also highlighted that, unfortunately, they did not get to ventilate it at their last meeting. Still, in their prime ministerial chat group, he knew the discussions were held. The (OECS) Director General (Dr Didacus Jules) has been trying to get them to do a round-robin to confirm the proposal or to prepare a formal decision on reducing the airport taxes.
PM Browne said that a reduction in taxes would also assist the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, which has been put under court-ordered execution.