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    Qatar’s Hamad Airport to charge new exit tax on passengers

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    Hamad International Airport
    Hamad International Airport

    Updated at 7:22pm with comment from HIA

    With reporting from Aparajita Mukherjee

    Passengers flying out of Qatar will soon be required to pay an additional QR35 “departure charge,” airport operator Qatar Airways has told travel agents.

    In a circular distributed last week, agencies were advised that Hamad International Airport will introduce a new Passenger Facility Charge for tickets issued on or after Aug. 30, and for any travel starting Dec. 1 onwards.

    The fee will automatically be added to an individual’s plane ticket price and also applies to transit passengers who fly into and out of HIA within 24 hours.

    Qatar Airways did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the subject.

    However, on Sunday evening HIA issued a statement confirming the new fee. It added that infants under the age of two years old without a seat would not be charged.

    Transit passengers who do not require an aircraft change and those who are involuntary rerouted are also exempt.

    The airport added:

    “The charge is in line with ICAO principles to support the development of world leading airports such as HIA to further increase the airport’s capacity and invest in new infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology to deliver world-class facilities for passengers.”

    Revenue raiser

    The new charge comes as the government curbs spending and seeks out new revenue streams amid falling oil prices.

    It also follows Dubai’s decision to roll out a similar exit tax earlier this year.

    Photo for illustrative purposes only.
    Photo for illustrative purposes only.

    In March, UAE officials announced that money collected from the new fee would improve Dubai’s airport infrastructure and capacity.

    Several other countries also charge exit taxes, including Australia, Germany, China and the UK.

    Thoughts?

    Shabina S. Khatri
    Shabina S. Khatri is the editor of Doha News. She holds dual bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Spanish from the University of Michigan, a Masters of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University, has previously taught at NU-Q, and worked for the Wall Street Journal and the Detroit Free Press.

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