The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has reportedly requested Kotoka International Airline (KIA) to impose an additional US$7 fee per passenger for foreign flights to cover the cost of luggage fumigation.
The GHS communicated this decision through the Ghana Airports Company Limited during a meeting held in Accra on June 22, 2023.
Airlines, still recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, have expressed opposition to this decision by the GHS. They have also highlighted the absence of local legislation supporting the planned charge.
If implemented, the introduction of the US$7 fumigation fee would result in further increases in airfares. Airfares are already elevated due to factors such as high aviation fuel costs, a weakened local currency, and the overall economic challenges experienced since the previous year.
The global aviation industry suffered a significant financial impact of approximately US$180 billion over a span of three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are positive signs of recovery as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts a revenue per passenger of US$2.25 for the current year. This is a notable improvement compared to the loss of -1.1 dollars per passenger experienced in the previous year.
In Ghana, international airlines have gradually resumed routes that were suspended during the pandemic. While the industry is on the path to recovery, it has not yet reached the performance levels observed in 2019, which was prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.