Cost of air travel to Sierra Leone goes up as government reneges on commitment to ensure security of air passengers

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 01 September 2022:

The cost of travelling to Sierra Leone has gone up today by $25, after the government announced that it will no longer bear the cost of guaranteeing the security of passengers arriving and leaving the country by air.

Writing in a statement published this week, the government says that it can no longer pay Securiport – the company responsible for providing security at Lungi Airport, the contracted $40 per passenger, starting from today, 1st September 2022.

The government said it has renegotiated the contract fee and passengers will now be responsible for paying $25 directly to Securiport through the company’s web platform. This is in addition to airport tax, as well as cost of airline ticket.

The statement blames the current global economic crisis  which it says is impacting its finances, for the decision to renege on its commitment to ensure the security of passengers arriving and leaving the country’s international airport.

Sierra Leone is one of the most expensive countries in West Africa in terms of air travel cost. Adding an extra $25 to this cost can only drive tourists and visitors to cheaper travel countries such as the Gambia, as passengers face rising costs of living crisis at home.

8 Comments

  1. I want to say thank you to his Excellency, Brigadier, Dr, Chief,et al titles Madder Bio for his commitment, as expressed on CNN, to reduce the cost of living for Sierra Leoneans.
    Sierra Leone has the highest airfare in the sub-region, due to imposed taxes by the powers that be, furthermore, the ports is an extortionate scam agains its citizens.
    The food industry is monopolised by a few Lebanese, resulting in a loss of standards.
    Tourist potential is nil, diaspora investment is nil.
    I can book a luxurious holiday in Dubai for a thousand quid, which is just the price of the plane ticket to SL.
    Yes, there is no choice about going to where your umbilical cord is buried, however, the restrictive measures imposed by the government can restrict the frequency of such visits.

  2. £800 ticket
    Night before travel £50
    6 hr wait to catch flight
    5 hr transfer
    $80 visa
    $40 ferry
    800.000 leone taxi to Waterloo
    Now $25 x 2way

    As a tourist your country way way to expensive. To much hard work for vacation.
    Note if your government was previously paying this tax to securiport . Why are they giving visitors something for free. I’m sure the people of sierra leone needs this $80 security tax spending on them. Lots of visitors = lots of lost revenue for infrastructure to the country.
    If the price is less visitors will visit the country and spend there money more than the proposed security tax. So the country wins an average tourist might spend £500 per visit so everyone wins.
    So if I refuse to pay return fee you will stop me boarding flight.. is the security fee to stop the 30 or so people pushing and shoving me to get my bags off the baggage belt or to go throw 1 gate on departure are you telling me now the airport has never been safe till now . And $25 will make it safer. No bad politics bad idea bad practice . Bad public relations.
    As a tourist please please put everything in the airport ticket let me then make a choice of what to do .

  3. This latest news on the government reneging on their commitments to guarantee the safety and security of air passengers will come as a massive blow to air travel and the Sierra leone tourism industry . This decision by the Bio’s government is shortsighted and out of sync with what most ambitious nations around the world are aspiring for themselves.Majority of countries are desperately trying to revive the tourism trade that is literally on it’s knees .This decision will not only impact Sierra Leneans living in the daispora wanting to visit the motherland, but it will have the unintended consequences of driving away foreign travelers that chose Sierra Leone as the ultimate holiday destination after the long imprisonment by Covid19 travel restrictions . Many Sierra Leoneans will be left out of pocket .Sometimes you wonder how this short sighted government reach such decisions with out consulting the Sierra leone tourism industry .

    Since the lifting of the COVID19, restrictions on international travel ,we’ve witness a massive uptake on air travel .And the vast majority of foreign travelers are choosing their holiday destinations where they feel secure and safe .Malawi of all places is one of their favorite .From safer take off to safer landing and airport security are all the guaranteed package a traveler will be hopping for . Already ,Lungi international airport has the dubious record of not only passengers on arrival running the risk of parting with their belongs at customs , but they have to come face to face with the army of beggers and helpers that some time can feel bit intimidating especially for a first time visitor . And by the time you board the rickety ferry to Abadeen or Tar Green you are on first name with the gods praying and hopping you arrive on dry land in one piece .Hence the vast majority of ECOWAS governments have recognizned they need to invest in Airline security, infrastructure ,to compete with other more attractive holiday destinations . The Bio government might just be the only one that thinks cutting down on security will be the tourist calling card for Sierra Leone .And it doesn’t stop their , the increase in the cost of travel will also impact the Sierra leonean traveling public that will pick up the tab.

    In a recent survey on Air African travel shows some of the challenges facing African travelers and tourist alike .” The rapid expansion in aviation is hampered by a number of factors :Lack of adequate resources , infracture distance and limited connectivity , lack of regulation and government actions are among the main constraints the industry is facing”. And this latest action by the Bio government is a final nail on the coffin to our tourist industry .Sierra Leoneans living in the diaspora don’t have the luxury of choosing whether they will visit more secure countries where their air travel security is guaranteed , even in smaller countries like the Gambia and Liberia , because Sierra Leone is not an option as a holiday destination but their country of birth .So we will cough off whatever the price tag to visit our country of birth .

  4. Edward Sandi says “ Even in the U.S we pay TSA security fees, included in your ticket’, so what is your point of contention then Mr. Sandi? As you rightly said, virtually every airport in the world, charges passengers for security among various other surcharges, however, none of those charges are paid separately. In the essence, the cost of a passenger air ticket is tied to taxes, and other surcharges of both the departure and landing airports.

    With the inherited cumbersome and sometimes stressful nature of air travel, what makes you think is a brilliant idea to add an extra burden to would be travelers to our nation? Makes no sense. Like someone else commented here, if you want to increase taxes or surcharges for passengers, do so through the airlines. As a government, you deal directly with the airlines, while the airlines deals directly with passengers. Basic standard of operation across the travel world. These PAOPA so called PHD holders never cease to amaze!

  5. This is not a reneges by the government is just a security charges, even in the United States, we are pay Transportation Security Administration (TASA) fees, included in your tickets.

  6. Taxes per Adult 142 USD
    Ethiopian Airport Departure Tax 30 USD
    Aviation Safety Fee Sierra Leone 15 USD
    Airport Security Charge Ethiopia 1 USD
    Airport Tax 39 USD
    Airport Tax 5 USD
    cart.taxes.S2 2 USD
    Foreign Travel Tax Sierra Leone 25 USD
    Passenger Service Charge Sierra Leone 25 USD

    The above taxes are from a return ticket generated on Ethiopian Airlines.

    Every other country incorporates all such charges into the ticket price. If you need to increase the ‘security fee’ then do so by all means. But do not inconvenience passengers by sending them to some website, or mobile money, or banks, just to pay 25 dollars.

    What an absurd own goal. Will this make Sierra Leone a more attractive travel destination?

    Keep it simple.

Tell us what you think

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.