Airlines decry high fees at Kigali Airport
ALEX NGARAMBE Rwanda Today
Airline operators in Rwanda have said the Kigali route is too costly to operate and cite high charges levied by the regulator for landing, clearance, lighting and parking among other services.
Operators, especially regional airlines claim that the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (RCAA) has imposed the highest landing, take-off fees in the region making the Kigali route the most expensive.
For example, RCAA charges Rwf3000 per 1,000 kg for an aircraft of up to 50,000kg and Rwf3,300 per 1000kg for an aircraft over 50,000kg and this coupled with other operational costs, are forcing some regional airlines to abandon direct flights to Kigali.
All helicopters landing on the public aerodromes will be subject to 50 per cent of landing fees while for the use of lighting facilities, at aerodromes, an additional charge of 50 per cent of the landing fees will be levied for each landing or take-off made at night when lighting may be used.
Where take-off may be in 90 minutes of landing the total charge for both movements will be 50 per cent of the landing fees.
This month, Air Uganda temporarily suspended direct flights from Kampala to Kigali opting for a code sharing arrangement with RwandAir citing high costs of operations along this route.
However, there are no international standard aviation charges thus all airline operators plying the Kigali route have to obey the regulators set fees.
“Although the charges by the aviation authorities are some of the highest in the region, every country is free to come up with their charges and it is up to the operators to obey since we don’t have international standard charges,” said Mr Isler Burcin, general manager of Turkish Airlines.
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