Ag confirms Samoa's departure tax initiative implemented
Departure tax is now included in the Samoa Airways airline ticket, however, for the Taloafa Airways, they are looking to implement it sometime in July.
In an email to the KVZK news, Attorney General Fainuulelei Falefatu Alailima Utu says as per the outcomes from the Atoa o Samoa meeting held April 12-13 in the territory, it was agreed that travelers to American Samoa will no longer pay departure taxes at the Samoa airport, but will be incorporated into the airline ticket.
He said Minister of Public Enterprises Leatinuu Wayne Sooialo and Samoa Airways Chief Executive Officer Fauo’o Fatu Tielu have confirmed including the departure tax in airline tickets for customers traveling from Samoa to American Samoa.
Talofa Airways Manager Sione Tielu told KVZK news they have yet to make this change, however, they will start implementing it this July.
The delay according to Talofa Airways manager is that tickets have already been purchased for the next few months.
As reported earlier, Samoa clarified that it will be incorporated into the ticket but will not be removed.
The Samoa Government clarified during the Atoa o Samoa talks that the departure tax charged at the Faleolo International Airport applies to every traveler regardless of their country of origin.
Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa says the departure tax does not target only people traveling to American Samoa.
Each traveler exiting Samoa has to pay a departure tax in accordance with the Airport Authority Fees, Charges and Levies Regulations 2012.
It is included in their airline tickets purchased with the respective airline of their choice, however, for people traveling to American Samoa, the tax is not included in their airfare.
“This is due to the fact that the Airlines (Samoa Airways/Talofa Airways) were not paying the departure taxes to Samoa Airport Authority, hence the move to remove the taxes from the airfare and collect it at the departure lounge at the Faleolo International airport,” explained Fiame.