50% of Your Air Ticket Price in Pakistan is Just Tax

It might surprise you to hear that on every ticket you book, around half of the amount is tax. So if you’re booking a Karachi-Islamabad flight and it costs Rs 6,500, around Rs 3,250 goes to the airliner while the other half is just tax amount.

In the case of Pakistan, and our national airline PIA, the air fare mostly consists of fixed taxes applicable to each and every local or international flight.

What is shocking is that these taxes contribute to almost half of the air ticket you pay for. In the case of PIA, which has reduced local flight charges, taxed amount can even reach higher than 50% in some cases.

To give you a general idea of how an air ticket fare is calculated with regards to most Pakistani airlines, here’s the break down of taxes and charges applicable on each and every local flight:

  • Security Charge – PKR 100.00
  • Government Airport Tax – PKR 20.00
  • Embarkation Fee Pakistan – PKR 500.00
  • Excise Duty Pakistan –     PKR 2,500.00
  • Advance Tax –  PKR 390.00 (about 4% depending on flight)
  • Total Charge – PKR 3,510

This excessive taxation starts to make less sense when you consider that air travel is not a luxury, at least not in Pakistan. For many people, whether it’s business or personal matters, it’s a necessity. And then there’s the fact that you can get better services on buses these days and still end up paying less.

Now consider this, sometimes local flights cost as little as Rs. 6,000 for a one-way trip and each passenger, whether traveling via a private airline or PIA, ends up paying that much for an Economy Class trip which lacks any luxurious services.

These charges start at Rs. 1,500 to and go all the way up to Rs. 10,000.

People traveling from or to distant places across the country out of necessity are forced to pay these taxes regardless of their social or financial status.

If you travel in luxury e.g. First Class, Economy Plus, Business Class, etc. you end up paying higher fixed taxes regardless of the distance you are traveling.

International Flights

The issue isn’t limited to local flights. Even when traveling abroad, 30%-45% of your travel cost is just tax or CAA fees. This isn’t commonplace either as regionally, Pakistan is among the most expensive places from which you can travel. Compared to Dubai and Sri Lanka, Pakistan charges up to 150% more airfare taxes.

Final Words

Charging such a high amount of taxes on all flights makes little sense. To top it off, almost all of these charges are fixed and will still apply even if you are traveling short distances.

While such tactics make sense in Europe’s case, given their higher (and better) standard of service and economic stability, they make little sense for a country like Pakistan.

Air travel is already is limited to a certain class and the excess of taxes make sure that it isn’t affordable for the local commuters who want to reach their destinations on an urgent basis.

Considering the state of air travel and the diminishing revenues, the government should consider reducing these taxes for the relief of the people and to promote the aviation industry in the country.

He is the Editor-in-Chief at ProPakistani. Reach out at aadil.s[at]propakistani.pk

    • Pro Pk ni article add karna tha, hum ni par k us ki rating bara di. and finally put some comments. That how Pro pk earning

      • Jab ap online tickets book krte hain na to sub likha ata hai billing mein, lagta hai Propakistani walon ne kabhi safar nhi kia PIA ka

      • Matlab k aap chah rhe ho 70-80% tax ho asal price ka.
        Baaqi govt issay bohat kam percent tax main bohat acha kaam kr rhi hain.

        Bas ye hai k wahan ‘baal’ aur ‘beghair rang birangi topi’ walay log PM bantay hain.

        • If you can’t understand humour you should stay out of it. What would be the benefit of higher rate of taxes when only salaried person will pay tax? Hardly few lacs of people pay tax in this country. Bring more people in tax net and lower down tax rates. Thats what I want.

          • Finding humour in that reply of yours is like finding a needle in a haystack.
            You talked like AH. kehta kuch hai aur baad main log kehtay hain k ‘maqsad’ falan tha us baat ka.

    • A person is only a active tax payer if he files a return. Regardless of how much he actually pays tax. A person could pay 1 million in tax and not file a tax return & will be considered a non-payer. A person could pay zero tax and file a tax return and will be considered a tax payer.

  • Here is saudia, PIA staff are giving ticket for less then usual price (1200 return compared to 2200-2600 sar) but even the labor class doesn’t prefer PIA anymore. Pathetic staff, management and airline.
    Bought return tickets for pakistan for 1400 from Saudi airlines instead. PIA was a airline, now just a memory.

  • A sudden jump in all airline fares has been observed since 4 days.
    Is there any authority to check and balance on Air fares?
    What was the need to double the price of all airline tickets?

  • KHI to LHR airfare = $80
    NYC to Washington = $64
    Istanbul to Antalya = $58
    Bangkok to Phuket = $21

  • Government can generate more revenue by reducing these taxes which will allow more people to fly, at-lease on domestic flights.

    In Europe, tickets are sometimes cheaper as little as 10EUR (including all taxes) for 2 hours flight.

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