7 August 2018

Sudan: 'Expensive Fuel Causes Airline Price Hikes' - Parliamentary Committee

Khartoum — The increased price of fuel in Sudan is one of the leading factors that caused the price hikes for domestic flight prices, according to the head of the parliamentary transport committee.

Member of Parliament Mohamed Ahmed El Shayeb, who heads the transport, roads and bridges committee in the Sudanese parliament, told Radio Dabanga that several factors have caused the increase in prices, including the increase in fuel prices by 23 per cent.

"In addition, the tax imposed on each aviation service alone - called vat tax - as a global tax increased by 17 per cent in Sudan. It rose ten per cent in other countries," El Shayeb told Radio Dabanga yesterday.

"Next to that, customs exemptions that benefit only foreign airlines are applied to the national companies, which pay customs on all inputs such as spare parts and other operating services."

He explained that the owners of airlines pay the parallel price for all services and operation costs instead of the indicative price, which has raised operation costs in general.

According to the new increases, active as of today, the value of the plane ticket from Khartoum to El Geneina is SDG3,290 ($116.88*), for Khartoum-Nyala SDG2,695 ($95.70) and to El Fasher SDG2,455 ($87.22).

Proposed amendment

"Our National Assembly in the Committee of Transport, Roads and Bridges has completed an amendment of Article 54 of the Sudanese Customs Code, which makes a distinction between national and foreign companies," the MP said.

The committee worked in coordination with Airports Holding Company, Civil Aviation, Customs and Taxation, and the Ministry of Oil on this, in order to remove intersections between these bodies related to the aviation industry and national aviation.

"They must be supported because it is important for tourism and revitalises the economy/ The return of this support will benefit the country and the economy," according to El Shayeb.

The Civil Aviation Authority has acknowledged that a number of airlines have been out of business because they were unable to keep pace with the rise of industry inputs of customs and spare parts.

Spokesman of the authority, Abdelhafiz Abdelrahim, attributed the price hikes in airline tickets to the high prices of insurance companies, taxes, transit, landing fees and fuel.

Yesterday, economic analyst and former banker Hafiz Ismail confirmed that the ticket price increase is linked to the rapidly dropping value of the Sudanese Pound. He warned that Sudan may soon enter the stage of hyperinflation.

Apart from skyrocketing prices, the majority of the Sudanese are suffering from continuing fuel shortages, a scarcity of wheat and medicines, repeated power cuts and drinking water outages.

* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CboS)

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